Flash Player 11.2 and AIR 3.2 RELEASED

Adobe has released both Flash Player 11.2 + AIR 3.2 this evening and have made a number of major announcements around the platform which you may read below:

Game on: The new Adobe AIR 3.2 + Flash Player 11.2
http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2012/03/gameon.html

Adobe Introduces Premium Features for Gaming with Flash Player 11.2; Announces Collaboration with Unity Technologies
http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmedia/2012/03/adobe-introduces-premium-features-for-gaming-with-flash-player-11-2-announces-collaboration-with-unity-technologies-2/

Adobe Flash Player Premium Features for Gaming
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/articles/premium-features.html

FAQs for Flash Player premium features for gaming
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/articles/premium-features-licensing-faq.html

New features include the following:

  • Drivers gating for hardware acceleration relaxed — Previously, the hardware accelerated content was gated to 1/1/2009, however, we have relaxed the driver gating to 1/1/2008.
  • Throttling event — This release introduces a new ThrottleEvent. A ThrottleEvent is now dispatched by the stage when the Flash Player throttles, pauses or resumes content.
  • Mouse lock, relative mouse coordinates, right and middle click events — Create immersive, panoramic games with infinite scrolling to enable new classes of content, including first-person games.
  • Multithreaded video decoding (Windows, Mac OS, and Linux) — The video decoding pipeline is now fully multithreaded. This feature should improve the overall performance on all platforms. Note that this feature is a significant architecture change required for other future improvements.
  • Flash Player background updates (Windows) — New versions of the runtimes can now be delivered more effectively to the end user with this enhanced updating mechanism (Background update is only available in the release versions of Flash Player).

In light of the current focus on gaming, I like to remind people of the following:

“While Adobe is focusing on these two specific areas, this doesn’t mean that we can only build games and video players with Flash technologies. We can still create any sort of applications and experiences we desire – and since gaming requires such performance enhancements; any other application type can also benefit from an evolution in these areas. Gaming platforms can drive the spread and adoption of technology more than any other medium. If users demand Flash Player 11 in order to have these experiences, the adoption scope is widened to such a point that it makes Flash a more desirable platform for a host of other applications. Flash becomes much more of a viable platform simply because of this.” 

Also of note: I assume the reason for charging for premium services is to demonstrate the monetary viability of the runtimes in order to justify further engineering efforts over the next 2-5 years. Ideally, the charge for premium features will further enable resources for the runtime engineering teams in order to improve the core runtimes and expand to new platforms. Perhaps we could even see a revival of AIR on Linux and Flash Player on Android? I do not think this idea is too far-fetched…

2 comments:

  1. Your comment on the new focus on gaming also bleeding into other areas is spot on. I teach games too, but I’m currently doing work with Adobe AIR & medical imaging/augmented reality. What Adobe is doing for games is also opening these areas to greater exploration by Flash developers. I still feel very confident in the platform.

    We are using your Adobe AIR 3 book in my class right now. Thanks for the great work.

    1. I’m glad others feel the same way around all of this being beneficial. People need to stop being so pessimistic!

      It makes me quite happy to hear that my little AIR book is being put to good use! Thank you so much :D

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