Adobe has received its fair share of media attention recently due to harsh criticisms from Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs. Complaints, which were published in an opinion article on Apple’s website several weeks ago, include the drawbacks of having flash as a media standard for the web. Jobs deemed the technology proprietary with no open standards, faltering with performance inefficiencies, and major gaps security vulnerabilities. While pundits are still debating whether Flash or HTML5 can coexist or whether online media will go one way or another, Adobe released Flash Player 10.1. And as always, it runs on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux platforms. A beta version is also available for Android phones. The new updates bring improvements which may change the minds of some.
To put some concerns to rest, Adobe is directly addressing some of these complaints with the new software release which is said to employ better power and performance management. For instance, developers re-worked handling processes better, which in return improves idol application power consumption. Also, the CPU usage will be considerably less when Flash Player is running in a minimized tab or a window out of the user’s line of view. This helps save system resources for multitasking with other applications. The player also uses improved video decoding algorithms, which optimize playback performance automatically based on network bandwidth. For example, rewinding and fast forwarding in a video is considerably faster due to the new player’s technology. This feature, named smart seek, also allows greatly improved video start time when jumping to different parts of a video. The player brings improved support on multi-touch devices as well. Another key new focus for Adobe was improving flash on the Mac platform. Flash Player 10.1 is not simply a minor improvement of its predecessor, but consists of major architectural changes.
Adobe is undoubtedly making an effort with Flash Player 10.1. However, this list of improvements does not address the underlying questions now being asked about web media standards. Even with future improvements, it still does not change the fact that many companies and developers will find it difficult to adapt to Adobe’s proprietary standards. With the web growing continuously not only in terms of the amount of content but also in terms of the diversity of its content, it is important to establish certain media standards. Keeping flash proprietary could be a big deterrent away from the standard even despite Adobe’s efforts to make the software better.
Links: Adobe.com Flash Player