One of the most used video software in the world just got a major update today. Adobe has released the new version of Flash; Flash 10.2 for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
Flash 10.2 has been in development for a while now and addresses several issues in the software. Flash has traditionally been one of the major reasons for browser crashes in Firefox and Google Chrome, and hopefully this new version should tackle many of the issues.
Flash 10.2 has also added support for full hardware acceleration through a new feature called Stage Video. Hardware acceleration will allow Flash to play high quality videos while using less processing power thus enhancing user experience providing users with longer battery life. According to Adobe, Flash 10.2 is 34 time more efficient than the previous versions.
Flash Player using Stage Video can effortlessly play beautiful 1080p HD video with just 1-15% CPU usage on a common Mac or Windows computer* working across platforms and browsers, it will enable the best video experience for the most people. Many millions of additional PCs, from netbooks to desktops, can now become slick HD home theaters on the web.
One of the biggest problems I have faced while using Flash on a dual-monitor setup is the inability to play full screen videos on one screen while you work on another screen. Flash 10.2 addresses this issue and allows users to play full-screen videos on one screen while you continue working on another.
For the entire list of new features in Flash 10.2 visit the official blog post. You can also download Flash 10.2 for Windows, Mac and Linux from here. Google Chrome already seems to be using some variant of Flash 10.2, the next update would include the newer version.
Looks like the new YouTube homepage was not the only changes rolled out by YouTube yesterday. In addition to the homepage changes, YouTube has also switched all video embed codes to use <iframe> instead of the older <object> embeds.
This was probably the first time I saw YouTube providing me with an iframe embed instead of the regular object embed code. However, this is not a new change and has been in test for a long time now. I came up with across various articles which have discussed this issue in the past six months or so.
One of the discussions I found was on the YouTube API blog done back in July 2010. The post delved into the new iframe embed and explained to developers that the switch from object to iframe was to allow YouTube to display the video in either HTML5 or Flash, based on the user’s browser capabilities. They also wrote a post on Jan 20, 2011 to say that the iframe tag was now the default embed tag.
If you use the new embed code style, your viewers will be able to view your embedded video in one of our Flash or HTML5 players, depending on their viewing environment and preferences. Environments that support the HTML5 video player are listed here on our HTML5 settings page. In instances where HTML5 isn’t supported (e.g. our HTML5 player can’t play videos with ads), we use Flash.
The move was apparently done so that the embedded videos would eventually work on mobile platforms that do not support Flash including the iPhone. However, it looks like Google still has a lot of work to do since the video does not play on the iPhone even if you use the iframe embed tag.
Did you have any luck with playing YouTube videos on the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch while using the iframe embed tags?
RIM has released yet another video of their tablet, the Blackberry Playbook. It has been launched right before CES 2011 starts, before all the Blackberry Playbook buzz is drowned out by the slew of tablet launches.
It showcases the Blackberry web browser which has both Flash and HTML 5 video capabilities. They have also demonstrated how well Flash works on the Playbook, using Flash games on Facebook.
It is way better than the iPad, atleast as far as Flash content is concerned. The web browser seems great and is very fast and responsive.
Check out the Blackberry Playbook Web Fidelity video here.
Adobe has released a new Flash 10.2 beta for Windows, Mac and Linux which introduces a number of enhancements and new APIs. Flash 10.2 beta also support Internet Explorer 9 hardware acceleration.
Flash 10.2 beta includes a new feature called Stage Video, which helps websites deliver smooth videos across devices and browsers by enabling access to hardware acceleration. Flash 10.2 also claims to deliver HD videos while using very little processing power.
Overall, Flash 10.2 Beta looks like a worthwhile upgrade if you do not have any issues with using beta software. You can learn about all the new enhancements in Flash 10.2 at the official blog or download it from here.
After many previous failed attempts at making Android handsets, Acer is back with another handset the Liquid Metal. The Acer Liquid Metal sports a 3.6-inch curved touchscreen with a resolution of 800×480. The phone is powered by the latest generation Snapdragon processor MSM7230 running at 800MHz. This is the same processor which powers the T-Mobile G2 or the HTC Desire Z.
The handset also sports the usual Wi-Fi n, Bluetooth, GPS with A-GPS and HSDPA. The back of the phone is made up of metal and also sports a 5MP camera with Auto-focus and LED flash. The handset is capable of recording videos in 720p resolution. The Liquid Metal runs on Android 2.2 with Acer’s Breeze UI running on top of it. The phone also supports DLNA and Mobile AP.
The phone will be available in two colors Silver and brown for £299 including VAT. The Acer Liquid Metal is expected to hit the retail store sometime in Mid-November.
Adobe has released the Adobe AIR application on the Android market. Adobe AIR allows developers to create applications that can be easily ran on various platforms with minimal changes in their code. AIR will allow Android users to enjoy web applications right on their handsets without opening their Internet browser.
However, at the moment there is not even a single quality AIR based application available for Android that I know of. To use some Adobe AIR based applications, search for Adobe AIR and all the apps listed will be based on it. Hopefully, developers will soon start creating applications using AIR and thus take full advantage of its multi-platform feature’.
The Adobe AIR application, like Adobe Flash 10.1, is only for phones running on Android 2.2.
Adobe has just updated the minimum requirement for Flash 10.1 on Android handsets and the change is going to affect a lot of Droid owners out there. Adobe and Motorola had initially stated that Flash 10.1 will be supported on the Droid. However, the updated requirements from Adobe state that all mobile phones must be running an ARM Cortex A8 processor running at 800 MHz or above. This means that the original Droid or the Milestone won’t support Flash 10.1 since the Cortex A8 processor inside the handset runs at 550 MHz.
Nevertheless, Motorola had under clocked the A8 processor inside this handset and if the company wants they can make the processor run at 800 MHz, which will make the handset Flash 10.1 compatible. Heck! Even the stock kernel on the Motorola Droid allows overclocking up to 800 MHz (Rooted Users only!). There are also many custom kernels available for the Droid which overclocks the processor of the device to 1.1 GHz.
I seriously hope Motorola and/or Adobe do something about it since the Droid/Milestone is one of the most popular Android handset out there. Removing the Droid from the Flash 10.1 compatibility list will seriously not go down well with the Droid owners.
Nexus One users can install Flash 10.1 directly from the Android Market. For the others, well, there was a complex process that you needed to follow in order to install Flash 10.1 on your devices. It involved rooting your phone and installing a Cyanogen build on it.
Not anymore! You can now install Flash 10.1 on your phone running Android 2.2 Froyo directly by installing the Flash APK on it. You can download the Flash 10.1 APK here and install it. It doesn’t even require a rooted phone.
One of the major benefits of Android 2.2 is that it brings full flash to Android via Flash Player 10.1. However, not many phones have got their fair share of Froyo and Flash love except for the Google Nexus One. The Motorola Droid has already got its Froyo update, but the Flash update for the phone still has not been released. The Flash 10.1 update for the Droid was expected to be rolled out from August 18, but sadly it did not happen.
There are many leaked Flash 10.1 .apk’s floating around on the Internet which Droid owners can install. However, these Flash builds are not optimized for the Droid and thus result in a choppy experience. Nevertheless, users who want smooth and trouble free Flash experience on their Droid should install the latest version of CyanogenMod 6 a.k.a CM6 RC3. After installing the latest RC of CM6, users should search the market for the Flash player and install it.
Apparently, this Flash 10.1 player provides a much better flash experience on your Droid than the other leaked .apk’s do.
Google unveiled the Chrome Web Store at GDC Europe on August 16. Google developer advocates, Mark DeLoura and Michael Mahernoff, revealed that the Google Chrome Web Store, an online application store which will allow you to purchase and use Chrome Web applications will be launched in October.
The payments will be handled by Google Checkout, and here’s the important bit for developers: Google will take only a 5% processing cut, much less compared to the 30% cut which is the norm in mobile application stores. It will also support in app transactions by the first half of 2011.
The Chrome Web Store may help Google win a nice share of the social/web gaming pie. The lower cut is probably directed at luring Facebook game developers to create applications and games for the Chrome Web Store.