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Posts Tagged ‘Adobe’

Flash/HTML5 wars: News from the front

By Jon M Simpson, Logical Design, January 10, 2011.

When Steve Jobs banned the Flash plugin from all Apple devices in April of last year, it sent tsunamis throughout the tech world and left many wondering what the future would be for this darling of web development software and its ubiquitous plugin. The event has had many proclaiming the death of Flash and sparking a flurry of activity to prepare for HTML5, their supposed future king.

But not so fast.

Of course one of HTML5’s biggest appeals is its ability to bring applications directly into the browser,  making it much easier to design web applications. And with the exponential explosion of mobile apps, developers can utilize almost the same exact code for every platform (iPhone, Android tablet, desktop, laptop, etc), thereby drastically reducing the time and effort it requires to create native apps in this feverishly crowded mobile OS market.

But even though Canvas (HTML5′s up-and-coming Flash-like tool) seems to be gaining a lot of attention these days for being able to duplicate basic Flash tasks, it still runs into massive road blocks when trying to say, create a connection with a webcam or microphone, or trying to execute a very long list of complex, Flash Action-script-able functions.

Unless Adobe were to shut Flash development down TODAY,  the notoriously slow W3C would take decades to catch up on many important levels.

But certainly this was not just a wake up call for Adobe, for it has pushed the W3C to take HTML5 to new heights, resulting in an uncharacteristically rapid expansion (for the W3C anyway) of codecs compatibility: In January of 2010 only 10 percent of web video was available to playback in HTML5.  By October it was well over 50 percent.

So although these developments are a short term obstacle for Adobe, as it was already suffering from a growing disdain for its plugin’s power hungry and security vulnerable perception, it seems unlikely that the W3C either can or wants HTML5 to supplant the extensive capacities of Flash.

What’s more is that HTML5 is in severe danger of being far more vulnerable in the long run,  security-wise than Flash is.

Sorry Steve. But most of us developers already knew your motives were disingenuous anyway.

As HTML5 really begins to take off, the same annoying pop-ups and ads are beginning to appear – but these are worse because they are not readily identifiable within the code and filterable like Flash is with add-ons such as Firefox’s No-Script.

So when it comes to one of Steve Job’s primary excuses for banning Flash, HTML5 is opening  up whole new playgrounds for malicious activity on levels that a plug-in like Flash will never be able to.

What is one of the more interesting developments and one that may prove to be a very real answer to the survivability question of Flash, is the announcement in October that Adobe is developing an add-on tool that is able to convert Flash into HTML5 code. It processes the information and exports everything to HTML5, while simultaneously calling attention to anything that HTML5 is unable to handle and still needs to be addressed, post-translation.

Although this still leaves the Flash plug-in in question and it doesn’t answer the codec challenges everyone from Microsoft to Google and back are having, it does offer Adobe the promise of continued relevancy and indeed, dominance in the application development world. It is a brilliant move by Adobe and a collective sigh of relief can be heard across much of the web development world, knowing that the never-ending innovation at Adobe will probably save Flash from these recent developments.

No release date has been announced but 2011 promises to have many developers scrambling back to the familiarity, ease and unmatched capabilities of the Flash platform. As the W3C continues to fix its codecs compatibility issues, hopefully ongoing surprises across the development world like this one from Adobe, will make web developers and users the real victors in this war.

 

Adobe Can Win The 250 Million Flash Bet

Information Week Jim Rapoza, Jun 14, 2010 05:18 PM

So Adobe says that Flash will be running on 250 million smart phones in two years? Given the amount of help Adobe will likely get from smartphone makers, it could easily happen.

Why would smartphone makers want to help Adobe get Flash on their devices? Well, there are many reasons but the biggest has to be the Apple iPhone.

Steve Jobs has come out again and again against allowing Flash on the iPhone or the iPad. Depending on where you stand his reasons are either legitimate (Flash is a buggy, unstable application platform) or bogus (Apple just wants to maintain an iron grip on the applications they allow on their devices and Flash threatens that) but either way we are unlikely to see Flash on an Apple device any time soon (or ever for that matter).

But Flash powers many of the coolest and most popular sites and services on the web today, from addicting micro-games to the movies on Hulu.com. And more than a few iPhone and iPad users I know get frustrated when they run across content on the Web that they can’t access.

Which makes Flash an attractive option for iPhone and iPad competitors. You know makers of Android and Blackberry and other phones that support Flash will be happily showing off the many Flash applications that can run on their devices and making the point that these applications won’t work on an iPhone or iPad. Flash could become a powerful comparative option for these vendors and the carriers that sell their phones.

Of course some say that Flash doesn’t matter that much anymore because HTML 5 will provide an open way to deliver the same capabilities. However, HTML 5 is still years away from being a full standard. And while it has many cool capabilities, it won’t do everything that Flash can and will do.

The biggest problem that Adobe faces is the quality of the Flash platform that they put out there. If Flash on smartphones does prove to be buggy and unstable, they will basically be proving Apple right and will lessen the attractiveness of Flash as an option on competing smartphone systems.

But if Flash is stable and works well on most smartphones, then yeah, I think we could see 250 million smartphones running Flash.

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Qualcomm ups smartphone speed with dual-CPU processor

Wired, June 1, 2010:

Pick any of the smartphones launched this year and chances are it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor in it. The Snapdragon chips, which can run at up to 1 GHz, have been at the core of devices such as Google’s Nexus One, HTC’s Incredible and the HTC Evo 4G.

Now Qualcomm is getting ready to introduce dual-CPU chipsets that boost the speed to 1.2 GHz and 1.5 GHz. The chipsets, called MSM826, MSM8660 and QSD8672, are likely to show up in stores by the end of the year. Handset manufacturers are currently designing products based on the processors, says Qualcomm.

The dual cores and higher processing speeds will allow for better multimedia performance. The chipsets also include a graphics processing unit with 3-D and 2-D acceleration engines for better rendering, 1080p video encoding and decoding capabilities, and integrated low-power GPS. They can support 24-bit 1280 x 800 resolution displays, says Qualcomm.

As smartphones get more ambitious in their desire to offer a video and web experience similar to that of PCs, there’s greater need for increased processing power. Last month, Adobe showed an early version of the Flash Player 10.1 for the Android operating system. Flash Player 10.1 on Nexus One can display video and animation unmatched by most other smartphones. But the technology also requires more processing power than current devices can offer. In Wired.com’s tests, the Nexus One’s 1 GHz Snapdragon processor seemed sluggish and struggled to render Flash sites quickly using Flash Player 10.1. Adobe has said it is hoping a newer generation of smartphones will change that experience.

Qualcomm is certainly trying to encourage it. At the Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan, Qualcomm is showing a range of new Snapdragon-powered devices — not all of them phones. Among them are Acer’s newly launched Liquid and neoTouch smartphones, Dell’s Streak 5-inch Android tablet, Huawei’s S7 tablet and Lenovo’s LePhone smartphone

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