Flash Platform Rundown – Week of November 10th, 2013

A ton of things happened in the Flash Platform world over the past week. There is a lot to take in – so let’s get started!

Flash Player 12

Flash Player 12 and AIR 4 betas
This week saw the initial beta releases for both Flash Player 12 and Adobe AIR 4. The Adobe Flash Platform runtimes, Flash Player and AIR, together enable businesses to efficiently deliver rich customer experiences across multiple digital touch points. With Flash Player and AIR, content can easily and consistently move between the browser, standalone applications and native operating systems to reach users on the devices of their choice. This beta release provides access to the AIR 4 runtime and SDK for Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android.

Here’s some of the new stuff!

  • Mac .pkg Installation Support
  • Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7 Support
  • Safe Mode in Safari 6.1 and higher
  • 64-Bit PPAPI Flash Player for Chrome
  • Graphics: Buffer Usage flag for Stage3D
  • Android Workers

New Version Numbering
With this new iteration of the Flash Runtimes comes a new way of numbering versions which more closely matches that of browser vendors. So we’ll still be seeing a new version of the runtimes release every quarter – but they will now be numbered in whole numbers. Happily, beginning with Flash Player 13 – AIR will align it’s version to 13 as well, keeping each runtime at the same version number for the future (which makes so much sense – should have been done years ago).

Killer Flash Platform Stats!
These stats are pretty amazing. 120,000+ distict AIR apps and 225,000,000+ new app installs? AIR is a performer with true reach! If only the marketing efforts at Adobe would embrace this – truly the most creative cross platform set of runtimes in existence. Give the runtimes team more resources, Adobe! AIR is for creatives of all types… EMBRACE IT!

PPAPI Debug Player!
The community has been clamoring for a Chrome PPAPI version of the debug Flash Player for some time now. Looks as though we may actually get it.

Great case for AIR
“Why the value proposition continues to tilt further towards Adobe AIR over native languages” lists a number of reasons why you should give AIR a chance if targeting Android and iOS. Some very compelling arguments are presented.

Chris Campbell Named Additional Runtimes PM
Hope to see more community activity from Chris in the coming days!

Citrus Engine 3.1.8
The awesome Citrus Engine 3.1.8 includes a number of new features such as a new multi-resolution solution, gamepads improvements, sound manager improvements, and updates the internal libraries to their latest versions.

Building a Mobile App with Feathers and Starling
Lynda.com continues to provide great content in support of the Flash Platform with Building a Mobile App with Feathers and Starling. In this course, author Joseph Labrecque shows you how to use the Feathers and Starling user interface frameworks along with Stage3D to build out mobile applications with Adobe AIR. After setting up the project (a fully functional drawing app), you’ll learn how to build application views, skin interface components with Feathers themes, and create the classes that will add functionality to the app, such as rendering, saving, and browsing sketches. The closing chapter demonstrates how to publish the project in a format suitable for Android devices, and concludes with installing and running the app.

Starling FullScreen No Stretch Extension Tutorial
This tutorial explains how to use the FullScreen No Stretch Extension for the Starling Framework. Starling is a great framework for building multi-platform software, especially games. Written in ActionScript 3, it mimics the traditional Flash display hierarchy, but is built on Stage 3D. This means that developers can write cross-platform software in the simple and familiar ActionScript language without worrying about serious hits to performance.

Reddit Thread on Flash Player
“Why is Shockwave Flash so slow, Why is Adobe unable to optimize it, and Why do websites continue to use it instead of moving to an alternative?” In this Reddit thread – both sides have at it and a lot of good information is the result.

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