One recurring theme though, throughout the Flash on the Beach, was that no matter what happens with HTML5, Flash will always be ahead of the curve.
HTML5/CSS3 may be moving in as heir apparent to take over basic video content delivery, prettier fonts, basic animation etc but Flash has always been doing things that couldn’t be done without the use of a plug-in. In many ways, it’s responsible for pushing the boundaries of what people expect from the web and this week they’ve been pushing that even further.
Anyway, back to the cool new stuff…
Real 3D in Flash
Check this out.
Introducing the new Molehill 3D API. Molehill means full-textured 3D models, made of hundreds of thousands of triangles rendered on the fly in Flash with hardware DirectX & OpenGL 3D acceleration. And these capabilities are available to use with existing 3D libraries like Away3D and Alternativa3D.
Not only that, this will be available in the browser too, not just through Air on the desktop. Awesome.
Air 2.5 – Coming to a screen near you
Also revealed at MAX was the new release of the Air run-time. Air 2.5 is really mobile focused, with support for Android 2.2, Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry Tablet OS, – and obviously, it’s running on Windows, OSX and Linux – but the new version is also compatible with set-top boxes and works with Google TV.
That’s right, Flash on your TV and the results look pretty impressive so far. Adobe’s aiming to have Flash/Air on every screen and they’ve made lots of enhancements to APIs to help account for the lower-processing power of mobile devices and set-top boxes.
The desktop run-time has also moved on with greater support for CSS in HTML-based Air apps. You can use TypeKit now and newer CSS features like drop-shadow and @font-face.
For further reading, you can check out all the details are in the Air 2.5 release notes.
So, where’s it all going?
All of these are really positive steps for Adobe, in my opinion. They may have been late to the party on mobile but everything we’re seeing here is right on the money. A lot of people have been really quick to write off Adobe but all of this is adding up to:
- a solid offering on mobile/tablet/set-top platforms;
- packaging of ActionScript based apps for iOS devices;
- increased support and integration with HTML5/CSS3;
- hardware acceleration cross-platform;
- and still more features that you just can’t get anywhere else.
Even InDesign is pulling its weight in digital with the Digital Publishing Suite! (Mashable has a good overview here)
I have to say, I’m impressed with what’s coming out of Adobe at the moment. Innovative solutions, in all the right areas. Long may it last.
Postscript: From the Bleeding Edge
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