Adobe has this month released its Flash Player 11 and Adobe AIR 3 software in a bid to give web application developers a route to delivering "console-quality" 2D and 3D games over the Internet. Also capable of handling feature-length cinema-quality HD video online, Adobe says that these latest version releases are designed to underpin the creation of data-driven applications with back-end systems integration across devices including the iPhone and iPad via AIR.
With this release, AIR native extensions have added support for specific device features and native code libraries, giving developers the option to choose the right mix of Flash, HTML5, and native code. In line with these products becoming available, Flash Builder and Flex will offer support for the new features in an upcoming release before the end of the year.
"Flash offers the best way for content owners to deliver their most demanding experiences, including games, premium video, and sophisticated data-driven apps, to all of their users, while HTML 5 tools such as Adobe Edge and Dreamweaver are ideal for building interactive web pages, rich ads, branded microsites, and general-purpose mobile applications," said Danny Winokur, vice president and general manager of platform at Adobe.
Programmer-focused enhancements in Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 include accelerated 2D/3D graphics to enable 1,000 times faster rendering over Flash Player 10 and AIR 2. Developers are able to animate millions of objects with smooth 60 frames per second rendering and deliver console-quality games on Mac OS, Windows, and connected televisions.
Also new are AIR Native Extensions with support for thousands of optimized open-source libraries. Developers are able to tap into software and hardware capabilities including access to device data, vibration control, magnetometers, light sensors, dual screens, and near field communications (NFC). Native extensions also allow developers to more deeply integrate AIR applications with other business software.
Other new functions are as follows:
Captive Runtime: Developers can automatically package AIR 3 with their applications to simplify the installation process on Android, Windows, and Mac OS in addition to Apple iOS. Users no longer have to download and update AIR separately on any of these platforms, or BlackBerry Tablet OS, which includes AIR built in. In addition, with the captive runtime option developers can manage version updates to their application independent of general AIR updates by Adobe.
Content Protection: Premium video content can now be protected using Adobe Flash Access 3 across all supported platforms, including new support for mobile platforms.
HD Video Quality Across Platforms: Full frame rate HD video can now be displayed within AIR applications on Apple iOS devices using H.264 hardware decoding. Rich applications on televisions are also able to deliver HD video with 7.1 channel surround sound.
Rental and Subscriptions Support: With support for Adobe Flash Access and Adobe Pass, content publishers can take advantage of rental and subscription options for more flexible business models and offer TV Everywhere content to more than 80 percent of U.S. pay TV subscribers.