Anyone that thinks Flash is going to be replaced by HTML5 and CSS3, you might want to back off that statement for a while. Adobe is continuing to add features to the Flash player, and their mindset is geared toward TV sets and mobile phones. With the latest beta release of Flash Player 11, there are some key indicators that they really want play in this space, and make the Flash Player a dominant delivery system.
Adobe released betas of both Flash 11 and Air 3 for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux a couple of days ago, and some of the new features that caught my eye include full 64-bit support for Flash Player running in browsers including Linux, and support for delivery of full HD video with 7.1 surround sound to AIR-powered Television sets.
In my opinion, that last part, is a key indicator as to where Adobe wants to go with this. At the Adobe MAX conference last year, Adobe was really pushing Google TV. They are very aware of how and where content will primarily be delivered in the near future, and they are shoring up Flash as a key player. Support for full HD video, and 7.1 surround sound will only help keep this technology at the forefront of content delivery systems.
Additional features for the new Flash Player beta 11 are.
A new set of low-level, GPU-accelerated 3D APIs that enable advanced 3D experiences and improved 2D performance across devices through the Adobe Flash Platform runtimes.
Cubic Bezier Curves
Using the cubicCurveTo drawing API, developers can easily create cubic Beziers without requiring custom ActionScript code.
Native support for 64-bit operating systems and 64-bit web browsers on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows.
Linux Vector Printing
Currently supported on Windows and MAC you can now print rich and crisp images on Linux.
G.711 Audio Compression for Telephony
Support interoperability with legacy phone system (through Flash Media Gateway, FMG) and other third-party clients (through open RTMP protocol) without the need of transcoding.
H.264/AVC SW Encoding for Camera
Stream beautiful video from your computer’s camera with higher compression efficiency and industry-wide support, enabling both high quality real-time communications (e.g., video chat and video conferencing) and live video broadcasts from within Flash Player.
Enables ActionScript programmers to take advantage of fast parsing and generation of JSON-formatted text to represent their data. Take existing code written for the JSON interface provided by ECMAScript 5th edition and drop the code, with minimal or no modification, into an Actionscript project.
Garbage Collection Advice
Provides a simple facility with which AS3 code can advise the GC on when to schedule the disruptive end-of-GC pause.
Socket Progress Events
Provide a means by which content can determine how many bytes remain in the AS Socket’s write buffer. Provide an event which will inform content whenever data is removed from the AS Socket’s write buffer so that it may easily monitor the status of the write buffer without having to set up a timer and manually poll the size remaining in the AS Socket’s write buffer.
Secure Random Number Generator
Generate secure random numbers that are cryptographically as strong as the underlying operating system. Utilizing native OS APIs this feature will be used by Flash Player on the desktop and mobile platforms (Android) by Flash Platform Services.