We had recently written about a new browser app for the iPhone called Skyfire. The browser let users access Adobe Flash content on the iPhone without having to jailbreak the iDevice. As you may know already, Skyfire makes use of a server-side technology to render Flash content in iPhone-supported formats. The popularity of Skyfire has also been its bane since the load on Skyfire’s servers is learned to have slowed down the processing in some cases.
Now hit ‘Done‘ to save. Next time you want to watch a Flash video on your browser, simply tap on the bookmarks button and select iOSFlashVideo to start watching these videos.
Adobe has announced the release of a beta version of their new Flash Player version 10.2. The update is available for all the major desktop platforms including Windows, Mac and Linux. One of the interesting new additions to the latest release is the “Stage Video” player that, according to a company release, renders high performance video playback that consumes “just over zero percent” of CPU usage.
This is possible due to GPU acceleration techniques incorporated in the new release that offloads the video playback to the GPU. This means the entire process of H.264 decoding, color conversion and scaling are managed by the GPU thereby requiring little to no CPU usage. Apart from this, other new features in the latest release include performance improvement over IE 9 and persistent full-screen display during multitasking.
You can download the new Adobe Flash Player 10.2 beta software by clicking here.
No, Steve Jobs has not had a change of heart overnight. Skyfire, a browser application that we had written about in early September is finally ready for approval and will hit the App Store tomorrow. Like we had mentioned last time, this browser app will render Adobe Flash content on iOS devices without violating any of the terms that Apple has set on its app developers.
What Skyfire basically does is that it uses a proxy browser to remotely interpret Flash content and transcodes them into an iOS compatible format before it is rendered on the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. This does not violate any of Apple’s terms since all the transcoding happens remotely and not over the application on the users’ end.
However, a point to note here. This application will only help you “watch” Flash based content and you cannot interact with them. That means, playing Flash games on your iPhone is still not available as yet. Skyfire for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad should be available on the App Store at a price of $2.99 starting tomorrow.
At the developer conference organized by Adobe this week, the company has demoed one very interesting new tool – a Flash-To-HTML5 converter tool that will let developers easily port their Adobe Flash applications to HTML5 for incorporation on platforms like iOS that do not support Flash. This may look like a move that might haunt the company in the long run since it basically gives a reprieve for companies like Apple that have been otherwise facing flak for not allowing an ubiquitous multimedia platform like Adobe.
But as Adobe writer John Nack points out, his company is in the business of building tools that will make the life of developers easier. Consequently, building such tools are much needed today when there is much fragmentation.
Here is a video demo of the upcoming tool. The tool is surely going to get a lot of developers excited.
Apple may hate it and make it sound like this is the worst thing to have happened to the smartphone platform. But that hasn’t stopped Adobe Flash Player from becoming one of the most popular applications on the Android platform with close to 50,000 users having rated it 4.5 out of 5.
Following this success, Adobe Flash Player seems to be headed to the rest of the smartphone platforms. At the Adobe MAX developer conference, the company has announced that the popular multimedia player will be available for Blackberry OS, WebOS 2.0, LiMo, MeeGo, Symbian OS and future versions of Windows Phone moving forward. There is simply no word on when this support will be made available. But at least, this is one battle that Apple has to fight alone. Adobe Flash, it appears, is not making way for HTML5 anytime soon.
Skip this piece if you are an iPhone user lest you love to have heartburns. According to reports, Adobe Flash 10.1 that was launched in August of this year on the Android platform has already crossed the 1 million download mark. As you should be already aware, the Adobe Flash Player 10.1 works only over the latest Android 2.2 platform and is thus an impressive number.
Despite the cynicism that existed before this launch, Adobe has done reasonably well with not too many issues being reported. One major gripe is the way Adobe Flash drains battery life which the company is expected to solve in the upcoming versions. But another issue that Android 2.2 users have reported is the non-rendering of Flash content from some websites. According to Anup Murarka from Adobe, the issue is more so with these individual websites that read the platform as mobile and consequently render non-Flash content. ZDNet reports,
“The issue is that Disney and other sites are reading a mobile device and delivering a site that doesn’t include video. Murarka said that the Flash unit has a swat team that goes around to help make the sites read correctly. It takes time.”
Adobe has announced that their AIR application for Android is now available for download on the Android Marketplace. You may already know this, but it is worth noting that AIR is basically a cross-platform interface that lets developers build feature rich applications based on other platforms like HTML, AJAX, Flash and Flex. The latest release is just a runtime that you can install on your FroYo-running Android machine making it ready for other cross-platform applications.
The release of this new app will open up the possibilities for developers to build hundreds of new applications for the Android platform that will make use of the AIR integration. This basically simplifies the job of the developer since they may now develop one code base that can be viewed across several platforms. Want to check out a demo of such an application? Find it embedded below.
Pardon me for not noticing this earlier. Chris Black from BlackCJ.com has performed a very interesting analysis of content rendering as well as battery performance of Adobe Flash and HTML 5 multimedia that shows that the former is actually pretty good when compared to HTML5. According to him, Adobe Flash on a Nexus One renders at 57 frames-per-second that is significantly higher than the 40FPS that HTML 5 was rendered in on the same device. He also points out that the battery consumption while accessing HTML5 was double the battery consumed while rendering Flash.
Check out these video and images from the study that make up for a pretty interesting analysis.
Battery consumption after 10 mins (in % of battery life)
You can test the frames-per-second of both these formats on your own Android phone (or only HTML5 in case of the iPhone) by checking these following links from your mobile phone
Adobe has released a new version of its Flash Player that is at present only available for Motorola Droid X and HTC Droid Incredible handsets. The new Flash Player 10.1.92.10 – as the name suggests – is apparently only a minor stablility update to the earlier Flash Player 10.1. Nevertheless, if you like being up-to-date on the software front, you should probably hit the Android Marketplace and get the update. There is automatic software update available right now and users will have to manually search and install the update. Also, Droid X users need to note that you will need to be updated to the latest Android 2.2 OS version.
Adobe has not officially released the changelog as of now. So do not expect to see any major improvements in performance with the new update.
Though Steve Jobs preaches openness and open standards at the drop of a hat, we do know Apple does not exactly practice this and their ecosystem is pretty much closed and controlled. No doubt, Adobe Flash hasn’t made it to the iOS till this day.
However, that could change soon if claims by a third party app developer is anything to go by. Developers of SkyFire, a browser application that has been recently submitted to the App Store for approval claim that their app will be able to handle Flash content without infringing on any of the functionalities that Apple objects to. The mobile browser does not actually play Flash or transcode its content. Instead, the iPhone app makes use of a proxy browser to remotely interpret and convert Flash content to an iPhone supported format. SkyFire claims that the application has been built with sufficient feedback from Apple and so they should not have much trouble getting approved.
This does not however mean you can hit straight into addictinggames.com to play Flash games. Because of the technology used, users will only be able to view flash content and cannot actually interact with them. That would mean, only Flash videos (and banner ads?) will now be rendered without fuss.