Sep 21 AT 12:06 AM Taylor Wimberly 30 Comments

Adobe Flash could be 1000x faster on Android next month

Adobe gaming

If you think Adobe Flash Player and Air performance sucks on Android devices, wait till you see what they have planned for the next major updates. Today Adobe announced Flash Player 11 and Air 3, introducing a new architecture called Stage 3D that allows developers to create apps using a mix of Flash, HTML 5 and native code.

Adobe is so confident about this release, they’re calling it the “next-generation console for the web.”

Accelerated 2D and 3D graphics appear to be the highlight of this release focused on gaming. Adobe makes some big promises when it comes to performance. “Full hardware-accelerated rendering for 2D and 3D graphics enable 1,000 times faster rendering performance over Flash Player 10 and AIR 2.”

It’s quite an achievement that Flash games could get 1000x faster, but that kind of makes you wonder why they are so slow right now. I love my Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, but my biggest gripe has to be when the browser crashes on Flash-heavy sites.

Another pretty awesome-sounding feature is Air Native Extensions, which will allow developers to “tap into unique software and hardware capabilities including access to device data, vibration control, magnetometers, light sensors, dual screens, near field communications (NFC) and more.”

Finally, developers will now be able to automatically package AIR 3 with their applications, simplifying the install process for Android users.

Check out what some sample games might look like in the videos below. The graphics aren’t on the level of current native Android games. But this is the first release for Adobe, and we can expect they will improve.

Could Adobe’s gaming solutions challenge other popular game dev platforms like Unity 3D or the Unreal Engine? They might not be able to match their graphic prowess, but the easy implementation of Flash content and social connections could give it the upper hand.

Adobe claims 70% of the games on Google+ are powered by Flash, so they might have already won. They also note that Flash Player delivers an audience “11 times larger than that of the best-selling current generation game console.” (Yeah, that’s about 1 billion!)

Look for Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 to be publicly available in “early October.” I have a feeling part of this release could be tied to Ice Cream Sandwich, so hopefully we’ll learn more in a couple weeks.

Show Press Release

Adobe Enables 3D Games With Flash Player 11, AIR 3

Milestone Release Delivers Major Advancements for Gaming, Media and Data-Driven Applications

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sep 21, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Adobe Systems Incorporated today announced Adobe(R) Flash(R) Player 11 and Adobe AIR(R) 3 software to enable the next generation of immersive application experiences across devices and platforms including Android, Apple iOS (via AIR), BlackBerry(R) Tablet OS, Mac OS, Windows(R), connected TVs and other platforms. As the game console for the Web, Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 allow game publishers to instantly deliver console-quality 2D and 3D games over the Internet to nearly all PCs and many other devices. Media companies can take advantage of new features to seamlessly deliver protected feature-length, cinema-quality HD video through the Web, in mobile apps, and even with surround sound for connected TVs. Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 provide a cross-device entertainment platform, enabling the best in online gaming and premium video while helping content publishers to reach the broadest possible audience with highly-leveraged development investments.

Dozens of new features in Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 allow developers to deliver a new class of gaming and premium video experiences, as well as sophisticated, data-driven applications with back-end systems integration across devices, including the iPhone and iPad via AIR. AIR native extensions add support for unique device features and native code libraries, empowering developers to freely choose the right mix of Flash, HTML5 and native code to provide powerful user experiences across PCs and devices. Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 will be publicly available in early October. Flash Builder(R) and Flex, Adobe’s open source framework for building mobile, Web and desktop apps, will offer support for the new features in an upcoming release before the end of the year.

“With this milestone release Adobe pushes the envelope of what is possible on the Web with a typical PC and opens up a new world of immersive, high-performance gaming experiences,” said Danny Winokur, vice president and general manager of Platform, Adobe. “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(R) are ideal for building interactive Web pages, rich ads, branded microsites and general-purpose mobile applications.”

Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 offer dozens of new features including:

– Accelerated 2D/3D Graphics: Full hardware-accelerated rendering for 2D and 3D graphics enable 1,000 times faster rendering performance 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. A pre-release brings these same accelerated 2D and 3D capabilities to mobile platforms including Android, Apple iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS. A production release for mobile platforms is expected in the near future. For examples of 3D games for Flash Player, visitwww.adobe.com/go/gaming .

– AIR Native Extensions: With support for thousands of highly-optimized, open-source libraries, developers are able to tap into unique software and hardware capabilities including access to device data, vibration control, magnetometers, light sensors, dual screens, near field communications (NFC) and more. Native extensions also allow developers to more deeply integrate AIR applications with other business software.

– 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(R) 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.

– Compatibility: 64-bit support on Linux, Mac OS and Windows ensures a seamless experience with the latest 64-bit browsers.

“Zynga’s mission is to connect the world through games by bringing play to everyone, everywhere,” said Cadir Lee, chief technology officer, Zynga. “In order to do that, we’re committed to building mainstream entertainment across all devices, platforms and applications, whether it’s through Flash or HTML5. We look forward to the release of Adobe Flash Player 11 and Adobe AIR 3 as next-generation applications to help bring Zynga games to our players worldwide.”

“We strive to bring games to our customers wherever and whenever they want to play,” said Mark Vange, vice president and chief technology officer, EA Interactive. “The ubiquity of Flash helps EA to bring our chart-topping games to a broader variety of platforms and connect with consumers across a wide range of devices.”

“In ‘Petz World,’ players can adopt, train animals and take them on exciting adventures around the world,” said Shara Hashemi, senior international brand manager, Ubisoft. “It’s important the animals in ‘Petz World’ act as if they are alive and behave like their real world counterparts. Flash Player 11 with fully hardware accelerated 3D graphics allows us to deliver the same high-quality animations and 3D models on the Web that our players have loved for years on consoles.”

“The opportunities for casual gaming on desktops, tablets and other mobile devices are endless and without Flash we wouldn’t have been able to create such beautiful, rich and interactive animations,” said Jakub Dvorsky, game designer and director, Amanita Design. “It’s absolutely crucial for us to reach the widest possible audience without having to start the development work from scratch for each platform. With Flash, we were able to revamp Machinarium in a matter of weeks and bring it from the Web to the iPad as an app in less than two months with other platforms like Android and BlackBerry following soon.”

“Adobe Flash Player with 3D lets us render a tremendous number of buffered triangles quickly with excellent performance and stability,” said Michael Plank, co-founder, Pro 3 Games. “It was clear from the beginning that Adobe Flash was the perfect solution to deliver browser-based, console-quality games with powerful visuals and interactivity. The develop once, deploy anywhere capabilities enable us to engage gamers everywhere across Web browsers and sets us up nicely to move into the mobile space.”

“Adobe Flash makes it easy to extend the reach of our brand and our games because of the deep market penetration of Flash Player and that worldwide ubiquity is critical for us,” said Anton Volkov, chief technology officer, AlternativaPlatform. “Adobe Flash Player 11 with Stage 3D provides unique functionality, including native 64-bit support and asynchronous bitmap decoding, to allow us to leverage both 2D and 3D components for the best gaming experience possible.”

Flash Player is supported on more than 98 percent of Internet connected PCs today and by the end of 2011, Adobe expects more than 200 million smartphones and tablets including Apple iOS devices to support Flash based applications via Adobe AIR. By the end of 2015, the number of devices that will support Adobe AIR is expected to increase to 1 billion.

Adobe AIR, a superset of Flash Player, enables developers to leverage existing code to create and deliver standalone applications across devices and platforms. Thousands of Flash based applications have already been created and made available on Android Market, iTunes App Store, Samsung SmartTV Store and BlackBerry AppWorld(TM) today.

Via: Android Central

Source: Adobe blog

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • tatiG

    interesting…

  • http://www.typhon4android.org/ Mike Leahy

    >It’s quite an achievement that Flash games could get 1000x faster, but that kind of makes you wonder why they are so slow right now? I love my Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, but my biggest gripe has to be when the browser crashes on Flash-heavy sites.

    No GPU acceleration previously. I don’t know about 1000x faster; sounds like marketing hyperbole unless they post numbers and details.

    Will this help with flash heavy web sites on a mobile browser.. Maybe. If the GPU enhancements are specialized in regard to requiring a dev to use particular APIs or it could also be a general enhancement under the hood for normal Flash content too.

    >Could Adobe’s gaming solutions challenge other popular game dev platforms like Unity 3D or the Unreal Engine?

    Unity 3D.. No since they are embracing Flash as one potential deployment target.
    http://blogs.unity3d.com/2011/09/01/unity-and-flash-a-sneak-peek/

    The non-separate Air bundling is a big plus for mobile deployment.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Thanks for the updates. I didn’t know that Unity let you deploy games as Flash. That’s pretty awesome that they got Shadowgun running in Flash.

      • http://www.typhon4android.org/ Mike Leahy

        Indeed. Unity is solid in its deployment targets. Luckily for my efforts they are ignoring direct Java / JVM / Dalvik deployment entirely and my efforts can be used widely beyond game dev otherwise I’d be in trouble if I was only potentially selling my efforts to game devs considering how many indie game devs have been doing flash games and / or using Unity these days. It’s heating up a little for developer mind share and Stage 3D is going to keep Flash & Adobe in the game.

  • Richard Yarrell

    This will be a great addition to the android platform in general. And guess what this will also allow better ability of 3D content on my current EVO 3D and the future evo line of 2012. Definitely can’t complain about this even apple makes mistakes

    • Jasonhunterx

      Even Apple?? there not gods an i can point out several mistakes the biggest one trying to take on android

    • squiddy20

      You would be the moron bringing Apple into this…
      Maybe you should go out and get an Apple product. If you can even afford one that is.

      • Geah

        You must be new…

  • it expert

    I bet the huge Adobe flash security bugs are 1,000 times faster as well

    • http://www.typhonrt.org/ Mike Leahy

      Actually I’m curious how they may stop a developer from purposely crashing a Stage 3D app from the GPU angle. This regarding similar security concerns with WebGL. So this new API while pretty neat likely increases attack vectors significantly. We’ll see as Adobe hasn’t had the best track record as of late without a bunch of new functionality.

      • http://peteshand.net pete shand

        actually security has been thought about long and hard when it comes to Stage3D… that’s why you can’t perform loops while accessing the GPU

        • http://www.typhonrt.org/ Mike Leahy

          I don’t know the specifics of the Stage3D API; so this is conjecture, but…

          I’m sure security has been thought about long and hard like, um, the rest of Adobe software releases.. 8[ However, vulnerabilities may not manifest directly in the Stage3D API per se, but in the complex interactions & flaws in the variety of drivers in mobile and desktop environments. As things go I suppose Google could force push an update to Flash or Air on affected devices, but they can’t fix flaws that are exploited through Stage3D via faulty drivers baked into firmware, etc.

          I’m not hating per se; just very skeptical that we won’t see a ton of problems whether they are malicious or not. In general I think things will be more of an issue on the desktop as far as security is concerned, but I’m sure this will be a ripe area for security researchers for the coming years.

          No doubt the possibilities are very cool, but….

    • dre77

      Agree, kind of ironic that adobe is releasing a new flash player today, fixing a very critical flaw which is already exploited!

  • MattNL

    When it comes to Flash performance (on any device), please take note of the following:

    New technology within the Flash ecosystem almost always requires a implementation of this new technology. This means that existing flash websites / banners / etc will not benefit from this, unless the developer rewrites the production to benefit from new technology and features.

    The only performance boost you can get for existing flash productions, is when Adobe finds a way to increase the flash player performance / efficiency. With this new release there is a chance that they improved the way Flash renders all 2D/3D content, but there is also a chance that it requires a new specific way of implementing these new features (which is the case with i.e. Stage3D).

    Always keep in mind that the developer always has full control and responsibility over the performance of a Flash production (any production really, including Javascript heavy websites). And yes, there are a lot of bad implementations on the web… but that’s partially inherent to the low entry level that the Flash platform has.

    I personally can’t wait to see what this new release will bring for the Flash platform, if this will give a boost to Android gaming and what I’m going to create with it…

    • http://www.typhonrt.org/ Mike Leahy

      >New technology within the Flash ecosystem almost always requires a implementation of this new technology. This means that existing flash websites / banners / etc will not benefit from this, unless the developer rewrites the production to benefit from new technology and features.

      I gather this is the case in requiring specific usage of new APIs for GPU accel. It would be foolhardy for a general path for existing Flash content given that GPU usage is more likely to cause device instability / incompatibility thus defeat the purpose for general Flash content especially on web pages. This way only games or Flash content using the new APIs may fail where there is instability, but that is to generally be expected with 3D / GPU / hardware constraints.

  • Peter

    Why talk about 1000x..? Flash is really bad when talking about performance.
    I would be even happy, if Adobe rewrites flash to work acceptable fast on linux and android. The windows-implementation is already a litte bit faster.

  • BiGMERF

    sounds great !! look forward to it..

    by the way i agree with what you aid here

    ” I have a feeling part of this release could be tied to Ice Cream Sandwich,”

  • http://facebook.com/jestertx2001 Jes

    I would be giddy if this was included with ICS. Wonder if Apple will change their stance on Flash support in iOS now?

  • Boss

    This sounds awesome and just shows how quickly android can advance and why its such a good OS.

  • http://None CaribGrackle

    I’m always ready for some better, faster, gaming Adobe Flash. Even if it turns out for it to not be the bomb Adobe wants it to, it’s cool to see they are really trying to improve and compete.

  • CJ

    Will this update improve flash performance on my mac? It would be nice to watch a youtube video without my cpu fan kicking into high gear.

  • johnny

    Just give me a good soccer or baseball game in 3D for my Thrill!

  • ACR

    I wonder if this is the same hardware acceleration on Galaxy S2? SGS2 can already do 1080p Adobe Flash.

  • FL_A$$_H

    flash went from sucks to 1,000x more -sucks——————–epic sucks

  • Sunny
  • http://www.water-damage-restoration-tulsa.com water damage restoration services tulsa

    Thank you for the great share.I’m sure lots of people will benefit to this share.Please keep me updated of any new information that you will have.Will definitely share this to my friends for them to be aware also.Thanks and good luck.

  • Robin Degen

    They can’t even make regular flash not crash the default browser on android 3. Does this update do anything to fix this issue? It’s all over the net.

  • Akash

    I found a very nice article related to this check it .. http://www.dremsus.com.

  • richk

    stage3d is NOT currently an available feature for mobile apps created with Air 3.
    So the point of this misguided article is moot.

  • Larry

    It’s now Feb 2012 and still no word from Adobe on Stage 3D for mobile or Workers / Multi threading… please give us a bone… anything to chew on… anything… Adobe?

  1. tatiGGuest 4 years ago

    interesting…

  2. >It’s quite an achievement that Flash games could get 1000x faster, but that kind of makes you wonder why they are so slow right now? I love my Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, but my biggest gripe has to be when the browser crashes on Flash-heavy sites.

    No GPU acceleration previously. I don’t know about 1000x faster; sounds like marketing hyperbole unless they post numbers and details.

    Will this help with flash heavy web sites on a mobile browser.. Maybe. If the GPU enhancements are specialized in regard to requiring a dev to use particular APIs or it could also be a general enhancement under the hood for normal Flash content too.

    >Could Adobe’s gaming solutions challenge other popular game dev platforms like Unity 3D or the Unreal Engine?

    Unity 3D.. No since they are embracing Flash as one potential deployment target.
    http://blogs.unity3d.com/2011/09/01/unity-and-flash-a-sneak-peek/

    The non-separate Air bundling is a big plus for mobile deployment.

    • Thanks for the updates. I didn’t know that Unity let you deploy games as Flash. That’s pretty awesome that they got Shadowgun running in Flash.

      • Indeed. Unity is solid in its deployment targets. Luckily for my efforts they are ignoring direct Java / JVM / Dalvik deployment entirely and my efforts can be used widely beyond game dev otherwise I’d be in trouble if I was only potentially selling my efforts to game devs considering how many indie game devs have been doing flash games and / or using Unity these days. It’s heating up a little for developer mind share and Stage 3D is going to keep Flash & Adobe in the game.

  3. Richard YarrellGuest 4 years ago

    This will be a great addition to the android platform in general. And guess what this will also allow better ability of 3D content on my current EVO 3D and the future evo line of 2012. Definitely can’t complain about this even apple makes mistakes

    • Even Apple?? there not gods an i can point out several mistakes the biggest one trying to take on android

    • squiddy20Guest 4 years ago

      You would be the moron bringing Apple into this…
      Maybe you should go out and get an Apple product. If you can even afford one that is.

  4. it expertGuest 4 years ago

    I bet the huge Adobe flash security bugs are 1,000 times faster as well

    • Actually I’m curious how they may stop a developer from purposely crashing a Stage 3D app from the GPU angle. This regarding similar security concerns with WebGL. So this new API while pretty neat likely increases attack vectors significantly. We’ll see as Adobe hasn’t had the best track record as of late without a bunch of new functionality.

      • pete shandGuest 4 years ago

        actually security has been thought about long and hard when it comes to Stage3D… that’s why you can’t perform loops while accessing the GPU

        • I don’t know the specifics of the Stage3D API; so this is conjecture, but…

          I’m sure security has been thought about long and hard like, um, the rest of Adobe software releases.. 8[ However, vulnerabilities may not manifest directly in the Stage3D API per se, but in the complex interactions & flaws in the variety of drivers in mobile and desktop environments. As things go I suppose Google could force push an update to Flash or Air on affected devices, but they can’t fix flaws that are exploited through Stage3D via faulty drivers baked into firmware, etc.

          I’m not hating per se; just very skeptical that we won’t see a ton of problems whether they are malicious or not. In general I think things will be more of an issue on the desktop as far as security is concerned, but I’m sure this will be a ripe area for security researchers for the coming years.

          No doubt the possibilities are very cool, but….

    • dre77Guest 4 years ago

      Agree, kind of ironic that adobe is releasing a new flash player today, fixing a very critical flaw which is already exploited!

  5. When it comes to Flash performance (on any device), please take note of the following:

    New technology within the Flash ecosystem almost always requires a implementation of this new technology. This means that existing flash websites / banners / etc will not benefit from this, unless the developer rewrites the production to benefit from new technology and features.

    The only performance boost you can get for existing flash productions, is when Adobe finds a way to increase the flash player performance / efficiency. With this new release there is a chance that they improved the way Flash renders all 2D/3D content, but there is also a chance that it requires a new specific way of implementing these new features (which is the case with i.e. Stage3D).

    Always keep in mind that the developer always has full control and responsibility over the performance of a Flash production (any production really, including Javascript heavy websites). And yes, there are a lot of bad implementations on the web… but that’s partially inherent to the low entry level that the Flash platform has.

    I personally can’t wait to see what this new release will bring for the Flash platform, if this will give a boost to Android gaming and what I’m going to create with it…

    • >New technology within the Flash ecosystem almost always requires a implementation of this new technology. This means that existing flash websites / banners / etc will not benefit from this, unless the developer rewrites the production to benefit from new technology and features.

      I gather this is the case in requiring specific usage of new APIs for GPU accel. It would be foolhardy for a general path for existing Flash content given that GPU usage is more likely to cause device instability / incompatibility thus defeat the purpose for general Flash content especially on web pages. This way only games or Flash content using the new APIs may fail where there is instability, but that is to generally be expected with 3D / GPU / hardware constraints.

  6. PeterGuest 4 years ago

    Why talk about 1000x..? Flash is really bad when talking about performance.
    I would be even happy, if Adobe rewrites flash to work acceptable fast on linux and android. The windows-implementation is already a litte bit faster.

  7. sounds great !! look forward to it..

    by the way i agree with what you aid here

    ” I have a feeling part of this release could be tied to Ice Cream Sandwich,”

  8. I would be giddy if this was included with ICS. Wonder if Apple will change their stance on Flash support in iOS now?

  9. This sounds awesome and just shows how quickly android can advance and why its such a good OS.

  10. I’m always ready for some better, faster, gaming Adobe Flash. Even if it turns out for it to not be the bomb Adobe wants it to, it’s cool to see they are really trying to improve and compete.

  11. CJGuest 4 years ago

    Will this update improve flash performance on my mac? It would be nice to watch a youtube video without my cpu fan kicking into high gear.

  12. johnnyGuest 4 years ago

    Just give me a good soccer or baseball game in 3D for my Thrill!

  13. ACRGuest 4 years ago

    I wonder if this is the same hardware acceleration on Galaxy S2? SGS2 can already do 1080p Adobe Flash.

  14. FL_A$$_HGuest 4 years ago

    flash went from sucks to 1,000x more -sucks——————–epic sucks

  15. water damage restoration services tulsaGuest 4 years ago

    Thank you for the great share.I’m sure lots of people will benefit to this share.Please keep me updated of any new information that you will have.Will definitely share this to my friends for them to be aware also.Thanks and good luck.

  16. Robin DegenGuest 4 years ago

    They can’t even make regular flash not crash the default browser on android 3. Does this update do anything to fix this issue? It’s all over the net.

  17. AkashGuest 4 years ago

    I found a very nice article related to this check it .. http://www.dremsus.com.

  18. richkGuest 4 years ago

    stage3d is NOT currently an available feature for mobile apps created with Air 3.
    So the point of this misguided article is moot.

  19. LarryGuest 3 years ago

    It’s now Feb 2012 and still no word from Adobe on Stage 3D for mobile or Workers / Multi threading… please give us a bone… anything to chew on… anything… Adobe?