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flash 11Over the years, Flash has slowly but surely made its mark on the Internet until virtually every interactive website contained some form of Flash. As it’s now a fundamental part of the Web, seeing some updates to this technology is very much welcome. There are quite a few new features in Flash 11, including some highly notable ones. In fact, the release of Flash 11 may be more important than Flash 10.

Before we start, I need to make sure you know exactly what Flash is and where it can be found. Flash can be found anywhere, from your YouTube player to those addictive games you play like CityVille 5 Fun Online City Building Games That Run in Your Browser 5 Fun Online City Building Games That Run in Your Browser Read More . Even some ads (the ones that animate a lot) are displayed with Flash rather than using an image. Simply put, it’s in a lot of places, and you’ll notice it pretty quickly if you don’t have Flash or if you uninstall it. Personally, while I recognize the impact Flash has on the Web, I would rather it be replaced by HTML5. But like any other major technology shifts, people will resist at first and that will make the transition a long process.

Major Features

Native 64-bit Support

flash 11

One of the major features being touted in this release is that stable 64-bit builds are available to be used. While it’s strange that Adobe, who have plenty of popular products, never really touched the 64-bit world, they did so with Flash and I think it’s a step in the right direction. Although Windows users were probably fine using the 32-bit version, the availability of 64-bit builds will help everyone. Not only will those builds have slight performance increases simply from its 64-bit nature, but it will also make Linux users very happy to finally have a native 64-bit plugin instead of using plugin wrappers.

In the past, Adobe has once before tried to make Flash available to 64-bit users, but sadly that release lagged behind the official 32-bit build. Today, however, the 64-bit build is in sync with the regular plugin and is ready for mass consumption.

3D Graphics Acceleration

flash 11

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The next major feature is “Stage 3D Accelerated Graphics Rendering”. Simply put, this feature allows the use of GPUs to render the graphics for both 2D and 3D contexts. This is a great addition to Flash as 3D objects were somewhat slow. Instead, they should now render much more quickly and be more competitive compared to native-code 3D games. You can find some demos that use this technology here.

Even More Support

There are many other additions, such as H.264/AVC  Software Encoding for Cameras, JPEG-XR support, and support for other compression technologies. Even more so, stability and security fixes over Flash 10 are included as well to reduce the amount of crashes. The end results should be a faster, smoother, and more reliable Flash experience. Therefore, everyone should update to the new version, not only to be able to do more, but to also stay safe.

Conclusion

Flash, while I personally wish it would slowly disappear, still holds much power on the Web. With continuous improvements coming from the developers at Adobe, Flash will keep on living for quite a while as it provides some unique features that HTML5 may not yet have. Only in the course of time will we see whether Flash or HTML5 becomes the dominant technology, or whether they will be tied.

Which do you prefer, Flash or HTML5? Why do you say that? What would you like to see added to Flash or HTML5? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Graeme McKay
    November 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    err .... I've heard a rumour that the current ActiveX and Windows installer for Flash 11 actually contains the code for the,mobile, Symbian version, and NOT the Windows version - anyone else heard this ?

    • Danny Stieben
      December 4, 2011 at 2:19 am

      I haven't heard this, and honestly it doesn't make much sense. If it didn't contain the code for Windows, how could it run on Windows if it's the Windows installer?

  2. Kevin
    October 21, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    I have idea for improving flash... HOW ABOUT joining this decade and go 64-bit already.

    • swarfega
      November 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      erm didnt you read the article. They had a whole section on the fact that it now supports 64-bit.

  3. jackew
    October 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    HTML5. Why load additional software to do virtually everything HTML5 can, or will shortly, be able to handle in all web browsers. Besides, Adobe's products have all too often been riddled with security problems.

  4. 00101
    October 16, 2011 at 7:40 am

    HTML5.It would provide better interpolability with all browser without having to install software.

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