17 February 2011

Adobe Flash 10.2: Accelerating RIA’s And Online Video

Adobe Logo

The title I settled with is not the original one I first had in mind. But I thought that “Flash 10.2: The Red Empire Strikes Back” read too cheesy, so I discarded it. That said, I still had to  put it in this post intro because it is partly what Flash 10.2 is all about.  Adobe fighting back to keep their edge.

Flash 10.2 took 8 months from the release of Flash 10.1 to appear in stable form. But unlike 10.1, Adobe  is no longer in the need of saving face. 10.1  has been a great Flash release so far and this 10.2 release just advances what Adobe started with 10.1.

This new release is all about advancing, accelerating and improving  RIA’s and  online video streaming for those using a Flash/Flex/AIR backend.  While this post is about the desktop version, it is clear to me that Flash 10.2 was designed with both Mobile and Desktop scenarios in equal priority. 

New Features

    • Stage Video lets websites take advantage of full hardware acceleration of the entire video pipeline. This builds on the H.264 hardware accelerated decoding in Flash Player 10.1. Stage Video hardware acceleration means that Flash Player can play even higher quality video while using dramatically less processing power, giving users a better experience, greater performance, and longer battery life. In our testing across supported systems, we’ve found it’s up to 34 times more efficient.
    • Video at its best is immersive, so Flash Player allows you jump to true full screen playback with one click. With multiple display full screen support in Flash Player 10.2, you can now easily watch your favorite videos in true full screen on one display while you multitask on another and get some work done (or not).
    • Added support for custom native mouse cursors lets designers and developers create their own static or animated cursors with silky smooth responsiveness, enabling richer game and application interfaces.
    • New sub-pixel text rendering enhancements leverage Adobe typography research to further enhance text readability, especially for complex character-based languages.
    • Support is included for the GPU rendering technology in Microsoft’s upcoming Internet Explorer 9 browser
    • 64-bits support for Windows.

The Effects

  • 1.-Smoother (no jerking or FPS drops) HD video playback even if still loading a buffer in the background. 
  • 2.-Faster and more accurate responsiveness in Flash/Flex made experiences in general.
  • 3.-Better Performance overall. I would say there was a increase in 10-15% in that area.
  • 4.-Better battery life. If you are using a Laptop, Netbook or ultraportable, you will be happy to now that I noted a increase of 10% more battery life across a Laptop and a Netbook. while anecdotal, I do have read other opinions stating the same. So there is that.
  • 5.-Faster AIR apps.  If you got AIR 2.5 installed, remember to install both IE and Non-IE versions of Flash 10.2. I noted a very perceivable 25-35% performance increase in the AIR apps I use. Which is awesome because AIR 2.5 has already been a serious  speed booster.
  • 6.-Lower RAM consume. Not by much, just something like 10-15% less. But still note worthy.

The Bottom Line

Flash 10.2 is better, faster and richer as it should be when compared to 10.1, but what is even better is that you will immediately notice it (specially if you are a Windows user with IE8 or IE9 as your main browser). Flash is and will continue to be a integral part of both the full web and desktop app experiences (Thanks to AIR). While the march of web tech progress continues, there is no question about Flash still been way ahead of it for rich experiences, faster development and testing. Something that taking in count Adobe’s gloating of their new found momentum in mobile, said lead should continue for more years to come.

In the end, only other RIA techs like Silverlight and Unity compete with Flash, Shockwave and AIR.  And thanks to that other competition, I don’t expect Adobe to fall sleep at the wheel either, that and also the push for mobile computing.


Adobe Flash                                                                    <—Official Homepage

Adobe Flash for IE                                                        <— Quick Download Page

Adobe Flash for Other Browsers                             <— Quick Download Page




Youtube Clone Script said...

This looks like a great offer and a great Tool also…...wish I Flash 10.2 is better, faster


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