Print 15 comment(s) - last by mcnabney.. on Apr 26 at 9:16 AM

A new Apple API will finally allow hardware accelerated Flash on Macs.  (Source: Apple)
Adobe continues its market push -- with or without the iDevices

Apple has banned Flash from the iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad platforms and the company's CEO, Steve Jobs, has even gone as far as to talk a bit of trash about Adobe's flagship product.  Even making a port to iPhone's native code using Adobe's CS5 development tools has been outlawed by Apple, leading to Adobe finally declaring it was dropping support altogether for the iPhone, native ports or otherwise.

Despite the pair's icy relationship, Apple did just quietly release a new API that will allow for Adobe to finally offer hardware accelerated Flash on Mac computers.  Technical Note TN2267 describes the new API, the Video Decode Acceleration Framework, stating:

The Video Decode Acceleration framework is a C programming interface providing low-level access to the H.264 decoding capabilities of compatible GPUs such as the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M or GeForce GT 330M. It is intended for use by advanced developers who specifically need hardware accelerated decode of video frames.

The move also may benefit a variety of developers outside of Adobe.  Prior to the new API, developers were forced to use Quicktime X for H.264 hardware acceleration, a much more limited option, and one that Adobe rejected.  The new API comes to Mac users courtesy of the 10.6.3 update for Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

That leaves Linux as the only platform that may be left out of the loop when it comes to accelerated Flash.  Adobe says it cannot deliver Linux users hardware acceleration as the various distributions lack a "developed standard API" for H.264 hardware decoding.

While Apple may have shown Adobe a tiny bit of love for once, Google is really pouring it on thick.  Google's Android is soon set to receive a Flash update, possibly with the release of the Android 2.2 operating system upgrade.  

Android will soon receive not only hardware-accelerated Flash 10.1, but also Adobe Air, a platform that lets Flash apps run outside the browser like traditional applications.  

Google's Andy Rubin, Android team VP of Engineering, announced in a blog Wednesday that support for Air and Flash is officially coming.  He writes, "Google is working to enable an open ecosystem for the mobile world by creating a standard, open mobile software platform. Today we're excited that, working with Adobe, we will be able to bring both AIR and Flash to Android."

The full announcement of Google's plans with Adobe will come at the Google I/O event in May.

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By Anoxanmore on 4/23/2010 9:44:24 AM , Rating: 5
Come on Steve, you need to allow more than the tip in... ;)

RE: O.o
By sintaxera on 4/23/2010 9:55:14 AM , Rating: 3
You owe me a new keyboard, mine's covered in coffee now.

RE: O.o
By Anoxanmore on 4/23/2010 10:11:18 AM , Rating: 2
Hey sometimes you have to recieve as much as you give. ;)


RE: O.o
By sebmel on 4/23/2010 12:45:18 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, but not the full story... but then you never get the full story from Mick.

If you want to read an intelligent analysis of what Jobs is up to regarding flash take a look at DaringFireball by John Gruber.

There are various issues but the central one is this:

If many popular apps get written to an abstracted layer not controlled by the OS then consumers do not wait for Apple to implement features they wait for Adobe to support them. Now just imagine Adobe dragging its heels.

You might say that Adobe wouldn't do that but then you'd be someone who knows nothing of the history of Photoshop on Mac OSX. Read Gruber and you'll understand. Mick is only interested in provoking adolescents.

Wrong acronym
By chaos7 on 4/23/2010 10:10:47 AM , Rating: 2
company's CEO, Steve Jobs

More commonly refered to as the company's GOD, Steve Jobs.

We're not worthy.

RE: Wrong acronym
By chagrinnin on 4/23/2010 10:30:28 AM , Rating: 2
Now there's an image,..."God" as a fickle, spoiled little school girl,......with stubble. :P

RE: Wrong acronym
By LRonaldHubbs on 4/23/2010 11:13:52 AM , Rating: 2
Satan is a rich, spoiled, 16-yr-old, American girl, so why not?

RE: Wrong acronym
By Spuke on 4/23/2010 11:58:08 AM , Rating: 2
Satan is a rich, spoiled, 16-yr-old, American girl, so why not?
I take it you've seen that TV show too?? I wanted to hang myself after watching it. Spoiled brats FTL.

I don't see the need
By TMV192 on 4/23/2010 9:49:06 AM , Rating: 3
Sure I guess in the end it's good for the end-user, but flash is the kind of program that shouldn't need hardware acceleration to work properly if coded correctly. I mean how does playing a video run 50% of a modern CPU capacity, Stage6 and even Silverlight do a lot better than flash even without the hardware acceleration. Maybe Adobe really is lazy, lets not forget how long Reader used to take to load until Foxit started taking away users

RE: I don't see the need
By Spuke on 4/23/2010 12:00:14 PM , Rating: 2
I mean how does playing a video run 50% of a modern CPU capacity
If your computer takes 50% CPU to run flash, you need to turn in your geek card.

RE: I don't see the need
By B3an on 4/24/2010 5:37:22 PM , Rating: 2
Dont comment if you dont know what you're talking about.

Hardware acceleleration is just for video and certain 3D engines within flash, not anything 2D or otherwise. And for the most part it's for HD video which certainly does need HW acceleration with most average computers to run smooth.

"Flagship product?"
By davidhbrown on 4/23/2010 2:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
You think Flash is Adobe's "flagship product?" I would have thought that would be Photoshop or Acrobat.

Adobe seems a little conflicted, too... the latest letter to shareholders refers to Creative Suite as "our flagship product family" -- but only after talking about the "flash platform" as "the core of our strategy" for 5 or 6 paragraphs.

RE: "Flagship product?"
By mcnabney on 4/26/2010 9:16:06 AM , Rating: 2
My thoughts exactly.

Adobe could settle this whole issue by pulling their Creative package from the Apple platform. Most of those high-end Macs are sold primarily to run CS5. There is no true option to it - and don't say Gimp. I use Gimp. It is no Photoshop. Anyway, the loss of Adobe imaging software would be more destructive to Apple than just about anything else. It would also be a big, wet smooch to HP and Dell because they would get flooded with high-end computer orders within months.

By davidhbrown on 4/23/2010 2:08:10 PM , Rating: 2
Adobe says it cannot deliver Linux users hardware acceleration as the various distributions lack a "developed standard API" for H.264 hardware decoding.

There does exist plenty of precedent for commercial companies sponsoring FOSS projects that will benefit them directly. How about it, Adobe?

By sprockkets on 4/23/2010 6:04:39 PM , Rating: 2
Linux already has VDPAU for nVidia cards. That and the system that VDPAU uses is set to expand to be more vendor neutral, as in ATi could use it.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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