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Adobe Testing Flash Player Optimized For MacBook Air


(Image courtesy of Endgadget)

We all know about the ongoing scuffaw between Apple and Adobe in regard to the effects of Flash Player in web browsing.  But today, Adobe’s CEO interestingly revealed that Adobe has a version of Flash Player in the works that’s actually being geared for the new MacBook Air.

A recent review of the MacBook Air from Ars Technica had made the note that the device’s battery takes a bit of a shellacking when one browses the Web with Flash Player installed on it.  This led Adobe Chief Technology Officer Kevin Lynch to come to the conclusion that it takes more power to display Flash content than it actually does not to display it, and also claimed that HTML5 content along similar lines would use just as much or more power.

That said, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen made the note yesterday that in order to conserve battery, the key is hardware acceleration, and that Adobe has a version of Flash player in the works for the MacBook Air.

“When we have access to hardware acceleration, we’ve proven that Flash has equal or better performance on every platform.” 

Back in mid-August, Adobe had released an updated version of Flash Player 10.1 to bring hardware acceleration to a variety of Mac models.

via MacRumors

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter



Hey, Adobe: Mac OS X 10.6.5 Update is 42 Percent Fixes for Flash

Mac users were treated to a final release of Mac OS X 10.6.5 this week, which addressed a number of issues including the squashing of more than 130 bugs. But did you realize that almost half of those bugs were caused by Adobe Flash?

9to5Mac is reporting that Apple’s latest Mac OS X 10.6.5 released on this week took on a number of issues related to image-processing operations, graphics performance, printing quirks and more, including more than 130 bug fixes — 42 percent of which are related to Adobe Flash.

Sure, we all like to bag on Adobe’s Flash technology, which Apple CEO Steve Jobs has famously excluded from iOS — but the fact remains that there’s a growing anti-Flash sentiment brewing as more and more web developers embrace the iOS-friendly (and open-source) HTML5, particularly for online video.

“There’s an anti-Flash backlash beginning, and it isn’t about Apple, it isn’t about Adobe (ADBE), it isn’t about HTML5, it isn’t about anything but buggy software, lousy performance and broken promises,” 9to5Mac notes.

TechCrunch also jumped into the fray
: “So you’ll forgive me if when Kevin Lynch announces all these great-sounding things about Flash that are just around the corner, I’m highly skeptical. How long have we been promised Flash on mobile devices? 5 years? It’s still not where it needs to be. Hell, it’s not where it needs to be on the desktop.”

What it all appears to come down to is that everyone loves the idea of Flash — just not Flash itself. Is anyone at Adobe listening to these concerns?

Adobe CTO Defends Flash's MacBook Air Performance

You knew that the peace couldn’t last forever. When word hit the street last week that installing Adobe’s Flash software on the latest iteration of the MacBook Air could shave off upwards of two hours of battery life, Apple unwittingly awoke Adobe’s sleeping dogs of war… or at the very least restarted the Flash-or-no-Flash slap-fight anew.

Apple’s war on Flash was started earlier this year with a salvo launched by Steve Jobs. Adobe was left with little choice but to return fire with a few well-placed barbs of their own and well… it got ugly there for a while. Fortunately back in August, Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Narayen opted to play the role of peace-maker, stating:

“Apple made some statements about the suitability of our technology for mobile devices… With the energy and innovation that our company has, we’d rather focus on people who want to deliver the best experience with Flash and there are so many of them.”

However, if a story posted today by Fast Company is any indication, it would appear that not everyone on Adobe’s board of directors wants to kiss and make up. Contrary to Narayen’s desire for Adobe to stop fussing and focus on working with partners who don’t trash their products, the company’s CTO Kevin Lynch told Fast Company that he felt that in terms of battery consumption, blaming Flash was a “false argument.”

“When you’re displaying content,” Lynch explained, “any technology will use more power to display, versus not displaying content. If you used HTML5, for example, to display advertisements, that would use as much or more processing power than what Flash uses.”

Not a bad argument.

Sadly, in the same breath, Lynch’s perfectly reasonable rebuttal to the accusations leveled again his company’s technology were nullified as he resorted to the same paranoid rhetoric that we’ve heard from Adobe many times before. Lynch declared that he felt that a negative campaign had been launched by Apple for some sinister end–a campaign against Flash that could result in a decade’s worth of content being rendered unviewable on the majority of Apple’s mobile devices.

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that vinyl records and reel-to-reel tapes don’t play on Apple’s mobile gear either. This doesn’t mean there was an Apple-fronted conspiracy against these formats. It just means that technology has marched forward leaving these once-loved, popular technologies behind. It happens.

It’s happening to Flash as we speak.


Follow this article’s author, Seamus Bellamy on Twitter



MacBook Air Battery Life Drops Two Hours with Adobe Flash in Use

MacBook Air

Is it possible that Apple knew what it was doing when it excluded Adobe Flash from being preinstalled in the latest MacBook Air models? A new report claims that the controversial Flash technology can kill battery life on the slim new laptops by as much as two hours.

AppleInsider is reporting that leaving Adobe Flash off of your new MacBook Air can extend the battery life by as much as two hours. According to Ars Technica, one of the new models can happily surf the web via Safari for a full six hours without Adobe Flash installed — but once the same sites are visited with Flash active, the battery life drops by a full third, to only four hours.

“Flash-based ads kept the CPU running far more than seemed necessary,” wrote Chris Foreman after conducting the tests for Ars Technica. AppleInsider notes that without Flash installed, websites generally display static ads where the Flash content should be, “erasing the need for constant processing power demanded by the Flash plug-in’s rendering engine.”

The results likely come as no surprise to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who has remained adamant about keeping Adobe Flash technology off of the company’s iOS devices, citing security issues as well as performance and most importantly, battery life.

Apple wasn’t the first to unbundle Adobe Flash from their computers — Microsoft made that move with the launch of Windows Vista in 2007, although AppleInsider notes this “was likely due to the company’s efforts to push its rival Silverlight plug-in.”

As a result, the audience for Flash-based content has dwindled, a particularly disturbing trend for publisher Adobe since Apple is selling far more iOS devices than they are Macs. Currently, the only way to play Flash content on an iOS device is through a third-party app such as Skyfire, which uses its own servers to convert Flash on the fly to HTML5 using Mobile Safari — but that method precludes interactive uses for Flash such as games.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Adobe Unveils Digital Publishing Solution

With traditional print publishing suffering the slings and arrows of internet-aided content delivery these past few years, magazine, book and newspaper publishers have been struggling to find an efficient, cost-effective method to transfer their wares into the digital realm. In answer to the publishing industry’s frantic calls for help, Adobe has announced their latest offering: The Adobe Digital Publishing Solution. It’s a solution which Adobe hopes will not only revolutionize how publishers create and deliver their content, but also how that content is consumed.

According to Adobe:

The Adobe Digital Publishing Solution consists of digital publishing applications, software technologies, and service solutions that allow publishers to cost-effectively author, produce, and distribute groundbreaking content to the broadest possible audience on a wide variety of digital devices. With this solution, Adobe is helping publishers and advertisers revolutionize how they create and deliver digital content, and how their audiences consume it.

That’s fancy advertising talk that, when translated, means that through the use of Adobe’s industry-standard Creative Suite applications, a web-based client and a number of digital distribution points such as the iTunes App Store or Google Market, publishers can produce print, internet and application-based versions of their magazines, books or newspapers for a minimal cost. Publishers can expect to pay 9 per month for the privileged of using Adobe’s solution, as well as a premium of 20-30 cents on every copy of a publication sold. That’s a pretty reasonable price point, when it comes right down to it. For those of you interested in taking a peek at what readers can expect to see insofar as format and user interface are concerned, you needed look any further than Wired Magazine, which is currently available for download from the iTunes App Store.

The Adobe Digital Publishing Solution will be available to all comers during the second quarter of 2011.


Follow this article’s author, Seamus Bellamy on Twitter.





Adobe Debuts All-In-One Content Creation Service

To put it mildly, Adobe makes a lot of content-creation software—and it even comes in easy, medium, and hard flavors, just like videogames do. So for everyone out there who wishes for a single freakin’ app to take care of biz, Adobe’s answer is Project Rome. This beta cloud-based service launches today, providing an all-in-one content creation and publishing platform that runs from any browser or as an Adobe Air application for Mac and Windows (this version can be used offline). Impressively, it’s free to U.S.-based users while it’s in beta, an offer that Adobe’s making because they’re still taking feature requests and want to tune the service based on the feedback they get. When it launches “for real,” it’ll be “an affordable, paid subscription service for individuals and institutions,” according to Adobe. Hopefully it’ll get a better name, too.

So to the meat and potatoes of it—how “all in one” are we talking here? In the web-based presentation we saw last week, Adobe reps used it to quickly create websites, greeting cards, flyers, animations, and more in what looked like a pretty intuitive, user-friendly interface that we’d describe as InDesign+ for, uh, newbies. Toolbars and menus changed on the fly, adapting intelligently to whether the demo-er was editing text, building animations, editing photos or videos, and so on.

From within the layout of any given piece you’re creating, Rome also provides 126 fonts stored in the cloud, lets you insert/scale/edit vector art, work within master layers, set timelines for animations, and so on. You can also use its integrated Google media search to harvest videos and images for use in your creations (assuming they’re not copyrighted, etc), and you can place interactive Google maps within creations as well.

Intriguingly, the Project Rome service is intertwined with the cloud. Fonts and templates can be tapped from the service itself, and users can share and use files from Google apps or, while links to works made in Rome can be published to Twitter, Facebook, and Google Buzz.

There’s also a big education focus with Project Rome, and Adobe’s very keen to attract teachers who are interested in building highly interactive lessons. We checked out a tour of the solar system that would’ve guaranteed we were wide-eyed in science class—it looked more like using NASA’s rad iPad app than taking a science class ever has. Teachers will be able to upload and download these lessons, allowing the best and most interesting to be shared between schools in what could possibly be a very helpful resource.

You can’t beat the price, at least while it’s in beta, and frankly, the idea of one app that does at least the highlights of what Adobe’s Creative Suite does is massively interesting. We’ll be checking it out, and we’d love to hear your reactions in the comments below.


Adobe Releases Acrobat X Pro, Adds New Features

Adobe has released a new version of their Acrobat PDF creation and editing software. Acrobat X Pro gives users many new features, including the ability to manage and track your files (including Word and other file types) for a particular project with PDF Portfolios. This new release is sure to make the Acrobat-reliant users happy.

PDF Portfolios aren’t the only new features in Acrobat X Pro, below are all of the new features Adobe was able to pack into this release:

– The Action Wizard helps users automate and standardize multi-step tasks for maximum productivity.
– Users can speed up everyday work by customizing the Quick Tools area for fast access to the tools they use the most.
– Tight integration with allows users to share large files online, streamlining collaboration.
– Improvements made to the Preflight tool enable creative and print professionals to process jobs quickly and accurately.
– Acrobat X Pro also supports the latest versions of the PDF/X-4 and X-5 standards, enabling users to stay current with industry standards.

“With Acrobat X Pro, creative professionals can rest assured their projects will print as intended, which is critical when working under tight client deadlines and with limited budgets,” said Ali Hanyaloglu, product evangelist for Acrobat Solutions at Adobe. “Acrobat X Pro gives everyone involved in the project the necessary tools to create and collaborate so users can quickly obtain client feedback, streamlining the entire design process from concept to approval through final production.”

Acrobat X Pro is available for preorder starting today from the Adobe website for an upgrade price of 9(US) and a new purchase price of 9 with shipping scheduled within 30-days. The four Creative Suite editions (Creative Suite 5 Design Standard, Creative Suite 5 Design Premium, Creative Suite 5 Web Premium and Creative Suite 5 Master Collection) will have Acrobat X Pro in the future releases. Customers that have a support plan will be notified when the update is available.


Follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.



Adobe Releases 64-bit Flash Beta

image & character via DC Comics

What a mad treasure trove of riches Adobe’s corporate blog has been of late! In the past few days, they’ve waxed over their return to the iPhone application development arena, announced an HTML 5 plug-in for Illustrator and now this: A 64-bit beta version of their love-it-or-hate-it Flash Player! What could be better? According to Adobe the new player, which Adobe has called “Flash Player Square,” is available for just about every operating system under the sun, including OS X.

No doubt you’ll recall that Flash on the whole is not looked at too favorably by some folks at Apple. Much of this comes from the issues Flash has traditionally caused on Macs due to the resource hungry nature of the software. While Adobe’s statement laud’s the 64-bit version of their software for its usebility, it’s worth mentioning that as it is still in beta, Flash Player Square could melt both your computer’s processor and your face. In a bit of doubletalk, Adobe themselves have admitted that “…these new versions are fully functional, so all content should be compatible. We’ve found ‘Square’ to be stable and ready for broad testing, but keep in mind this a sneak peak and not everything will be fully baked.”

That’s fancy corporate language for “we think it should work for you, but we could be wrong.” Feeling adventurous? You can download your own copy of the Flash Player Square beta here.


Adobe Releases HTML5 Pack for Illustrator CS5

A scant few days after announcing that Adobe was back in the Flash-to-iPhone compiler business, the company let loose word that they’ll also be offering up the ability for web designers to create HTML5-based widgets and whatnot in Illustrator CS5, thanks to a new service pack now available for download. The ability to output HTML 5 content from Illustrator CS5 dovetails nicely with the same ability already enjoyed by Dreamweaver CS5 users. What does it all mean? Given the raging popularity of Adobe’s Creative Suite applications, we can all expect to enjoy the same content-rich online experience no matter which device we choose to prowl the interwebz with.

So is Adobe hedging their bets? We believe that the answer was yes. In the time between when Apple disallowed the use of third-party development software and when it became a viable option again last week, iOS developers illustrated that business as usual could be conducted without the need for Flash. With one of their flagship products shown to be redundant in the face of an emerging standard, its simply smart business on Adobe’s part to offer other options to their product’s users. In the end, putting multiple options in the hands of developers is a win for consumers too, as the quality of the software made available will increase as a result.

Follow this article’s author, Seamus Bellamy on Twitter.


Adobe Back In The Flash-To-iPhone Compiler Business

Could it be that Adobe has won their long standing slap-fight with Apple? With Cupertino easing the restrictions placed upon developers who wanted to use third-party software solutions to produce applications for iOS devices, Adobe has signaled that they’ll restart development on their Flash-to-iPhone compiler Packager. You may recall that back in April, Adobe gave up on the support and development of the software solution in light of Apple’s decision to disallow third-party development software from producing applications destined for the iTunes App Store.

So, what’s changed?

It could very well be that the recent investigation into Apple’s trade practices by the Federal Trade Commision has either spooked or forced Apple into changing the terms of the company’s iPhone  SDK, specifically Section 3.3.1–the section that was overhauled yesterday.

No matter the cause, the return of an additional tool that developers can utilize to bring more excellent applications to market is a great thing, and most likely will end up being nothing but a win for consumers.