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Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2 Betas Arrive

· Web Dev Zone

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Adobe Labs just unveiled two new beta releases for the Adobe Flash Platform.  Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2 betas are currently availble for Mac, Windows, and Linux.  The new versions were previewed in October at the Adobe MAX

Flash Player 10.1
Don't let the minor increment fool you.  The 10.1 version of Flash Player is Adobe's first step in the Open Screen Project [http://www.openscreenproject.org/], which aims to provide a consistent interface with Flash and AIR across desktops, mobile devices, and netbooks.  The main challenge for using Adobe Flash Player on mobile devices is dealing with memory and processing limitations.  Adobe expects Flash Player 10.1 to be ready for a broad spectrum of smartphones in 2010 with the final release.  A version of Flash Player 10.1 for Palm Pre smartphones is expected before the end of this year.

The main features of Flash Player 10.1 include:

  • New ActionScript globalization APIs
  • Dynamic streaming improvements with HTTP streaming in 2010
  • Hardware-based decoding of the H.264 video format on Windows
  • Better RTMFP support
  • Content protection with Adobe Flash Access 2

Adobe AIR 2
AIR 2 brings tighter integration with desktop computers.  Adobe took requests from developers who worked with AIR 1 and added many of those suggestions to AIR 2.  AIR 2 can find out the default application for opening a document with the Open Document API.  The new Native Process API allows developers to launch and communicate, bidirectionally, with a native process.  The Server Socket API can listen for incoming sockets and build lightweight servers that run locally.  An updated version of WebKit in AIR 2 includes a faster JavaScript engine and new HTML5/CSS3 capabilities.  AIR 2 now supports UDP sockets and can detect mass storage devices.  The final release of AIR 2 is scheduled for the first half of 2010.

New features in both Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2 include:

  • A mechanism for global error handing
  • Support for multi-touch, gestures, and accelerometer
  • Microphone access for local audio recording on both Flash Platform runtimes

Adobe says Flash Player 10 was installed on more than 93 percent of computers in just the first ten months since its release.  According to comScore Media Metrix, about 75 percent of online videos are delivered using Adobe Flash technology.  Adobe AIR 1.0 is installed on more than 200 million desktop computers.

Here is a video previewing Adobe AIR 2.

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