AfterDawn: Tech news

Adobe Flash Player 10.1 for Windows, Linux and Mac available

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 11 Jun 2010 21:36 User comments (2)

Adobe Flash Player 10.1 for Windows, Linux and Mac available Adobe announced the release of Flash Player 10.1 on Thursday for Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems (as well as promising a release for Android later this month). The anticipated Flash update is geared toward improving performance, power management and video abilities, as well as adding some new features. It's also important to note that Flash Player 10.1 fixes a whole host of security issues affecting the previous version.
Video improvements in Flash Player 10.1

Sticking with AfterDawn roots, we should mention what Flash Player 10.1 means for video before anything else. For Windows users (for now), Flash Player 10.1 introduces hardware-based (GPU) acceleration of H.264 video content, offloading the task from the CPU which could greatly improve playback.

The addition of HTTP Dynamic Streaming expands the delivery options for high quality live and on-demand media with full adaptive bitrate functionality. This new option enables media publishers to leverage standard HTTP networking infrastructure to help increase capacity, reach, and quality of service for video delivery using standards-based MP4 fragments.

Flash Player now supports peer-assisted networking groups, which allows an application to segment its users and send messages and data between members of the group. Application level multicast allows for one (or a few)-to-many streaming of continuous live video streams as well as real-time audio/video chat applications.

To fight problems associated with short term network failures that can disrupt video playback, Stream reconnect features in Flash Player 10.1 enable an RTMP stream to continue playing through the buffer even if the connection is temporarily disrupted.

Another notable addition is Smart Seek features, which allow a viewer to seek within a new "back" buffer so moving back and forward through video content without Flash Player calling back to the server. This reduces the start after seeking through video. Fast Switch also improves switching time between different bitrates, reducing the time to receive the best viewing experience based on bandwidth or processing speed.

Performance, Power Management in Flash Player 10.1

Since different devices and systems have widely varying processors and memory and Flash Player needs to work across all of them, the development team focused its efforts on creating a single runtime that works across all. The team reduced the amount of memory required at runtime particularly for bitmap-intensive applications.

The ActionScript Virtual Machine received some targeted optimizations for performance and improvements were made to the garbage collector for efficiency.

In previous years, tabbed Internet browsing has become much more common. While highly convenient, it can be a memory hungry habit particularly when plenty of Flash content is involved. Flash Player 10.1 can detect when memory is running low and shut down content running in Flash Player to free some up. Additionally, Flash Player 10.1 can automatically reduce the power consumption for content running in the background (like an invisible browser tab) to improve performance. Of course, when audio is being played in the background, playback fidelity is maintained.

Multi-touch and Browser Privacy Mode

Private browsing has been a feature touted more nowadays than before, and Flash Player 10.1 wants to join the party. The new version abides by the host browser's private browsing mode when it is enabled by the user. Local shared objects (LSOs) created during private browsing modes are removed when the user returns to conventional browsing while existing shared objects are preserved but inaccessible until a user disabled Private Browsing modes in the host browser.

A new set of ActionScript 3 APIs for multi-touch and native gesture events are now available for applications to take advantage of the growing number of multi-touch hardware available on the market. This gives the ability to interact with multiple objects simultaneously or work with native gestures, such as pinch, scroll, rotate, scale, and two-finger tap.

Improvements and Changes specific to Mac version

Flash Player 10.1 is a full-fledged Cocoa app (with legacy Carbon support for Browsers if required). It leverages Cocoa events, uses Cocoa UI for our dialogs, leverages Core Audio for sound, Core Graphics for printing support and Core Foundation for bundle-style text.

Full screen playback efficiency is improved by the user of a double-buffered OpenGL context and overall execution speed has been improved on Macs through compile-time optimizations using Xcode, while Core Animation improves rendering performance on the platform.

Hardware acceleration is used to improve the efficiency of displaying web pages that combine SWF and HTML content (in OS X 10.6 or greater). Overall, the performance improvements for Macs will provide faster playback of video content, efficient CPU utilization and will make improvements to battery life if applicable.

Fixing Security Issues

While this is not exactly a touted "feature" of the new version, upgrading to Flash Player 10.1 does improve security by plugging some holes in the previous version of the software. The update addresses more than 30 identified vulnerabilities, some that could be exploited by malicious web sites to install malware on a victims computer. Maybe I should have just started with that?

Adobe Flash Player (Internet Explorer) v10.1
http://www.afterdawn.com/software/network/browser_add-ons/flash_win_ie.cfm


Adobe Flash Player (Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape, Opera) v10.1
http://www.afterdawn.com/software/network/browser_add-ons/flash_win.cfm


Adobe Flash Player for Mac OSX (Intel - Firefox, Safari, Opera) v10.1
http://www.afterdawn.com/software/network/browser_add-ons/flash_mac_intel.cfm


Adobe Flash Player for Linux (Firefox, Mozilla, SeaMonkey) v10.1
http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

Previous Next  

2 user comments

112.6.2010 5:48

It sure would be nice if I could get smooth flash video from my droid without needing to overclock...

212.6.2010 22:16

does this mean windows mobile phones as well?

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive