Adobe has made a bold promise to the mobile gaming community. According to Adobe, gamers can expect console quality games on their iDevices thanks to the release of Flash Player 11 and AIR 3. The company says the releases will deliver cross-device development for 3D-intensive games.
While gamers may be taking a wait-and-see attitude toward the announcement, the developers I spoke with are exponentially more interested in and excited by Adobe's latest efforts. Dozens of new features in Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 allow developers to deliver "a new class of gaming and premium video experiences," Adobe says, as well as sophisticated, data-driven applications with back-end systems integration across devices.
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 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.
Here's the full list of new features served up by Flash Player 11 and AIR 3:
- 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, visit Gaming | Adobe.
- 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® 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.