Adobe updates Flash Player and AIR, announces future plans

Adobe has refreshed its cross-platform web media playback and runtime tools with the release of Adobe Flash Player for Other Browsers 11.7, Adobe Flash Player for Internet Explorer 11.7 and Adobe AIR 3.7.0.

There’s only one notable change to report in this first stable release of Flash Player 11.7: enhancements to the sandboxing features that allow it to better address application launches in protected mode.

During the beta testing phase for this release, Adobe warned developers that there could be backwards-compatibility issues as a result of some of the security updates. These should have been resolved in most cases, but be prepared for sites to stop functioning correctly in isolated cases.

With this release out of the way, Adobe has announced its next major feature will be a new patch update mechanism that it claims will reduce the size of future updates by around 75 per cent. This is currently undergoing testing in the beta channel, and should appear in a future update of Flash Player 11.7. Other unspecified new features are also planned.

Adobe AIR 3.7 also introduces a number of new iOS-focused features for developers. The first is a new static ‘preventBackup’ property, which prevents local shared object data from being backed up to iCloud. This property is required to comply with recently updated Apple guidelines.

Also added is the <forceCPURenderModeForDevices> tag that will allow AIR iOS applications to perform on lower end iPads and iPods where memory issues may occur when using GPU render mode. The final iOS-themed development is the addition of an option for developers to host secondary SWF files such as game assets or new levels on an external server, loading them on demand and helping to keep the size of the parent app down.

Android developers also gain a new feature: captive runtime debugging capability, which allows them to both create and debug captive apps. Finally, the Actionscript Compiler 2.0 has now been integrated into the AIR SDK 3.7, and is no longer available as a separate download.

Adobe Flash Player for Other Browsers 11.7.700.169 and Adobe AIR 3.7.0 are both available now as a freeware downloads for Windows and Mac. Also available is Adobe Flash Player for Internet Explorer 11.7.700.169 for PCs running Windows 7 or earlier (Windows 8 users are delivered updates through the OS).

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