Adobe testing optimized version of Flash for Apple's MacBook Air

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Adobe's chief executive revealed this week that his company is currently testing an optimized version of Flash built specifically for Apple's newly released MacBook Air.



In an interview at the Web 2.0 Summit this week, Shantanu Narayen said that Adobe is looking to improve battery life on the MacBook Air with a new custom build of Adobe Flash, currently in beta testing in the company's labs. According to Engadget, he noted that battery life performance depends on hardware acceleration.



"When we have access to hardware acceleration, we've proven that Flash has equal or better performance on every platform," he said.



His comments come after testing of the new MacBook Air found that ditching Flash improved battery life by two hours. The new notebook gets six hours of uptime loading pages in the Safari browser, but that dips to four hours once Adobe Flash is installed.



Apple caused a stir in October, when it released its newly redesigned MacBook Air models, but shipped them without the Flash plugin preinstalled. Apple portrayed the change as an advantage to consumers, as leaving the user to install Flash ensures they have the latest version.



Apple and Adobe have been at odds in 2010, in a feud that gained considerable steam after Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs published an open letter criticizing Flash as old technology that is unfit for the modern era of mobile computers. Apple does not allow Flash onto its iOS-powered devices, including the iPhone and iPad.



Jobs also revealed that Flash is the number one reason for crashes on the Mac platform. For its part, Adobe fired back and said that any crashes of Flash in Mac OS X are not related to its software, but are instead the fault of Apple's operating system.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "...we've proven that Flash has equal or better performance on every platform," he said.



    I have no idea what that is supposed to mean, in the context of having access to hardware acceleration or otherwise.
  • Reply 2 of 97
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,572member
    Wait, I thought that Flash was supposed to be a "web standard"? Why would they need a special version for the MBA?
  • Reply 3 of 97
    ihxoihxo Posts: 562member
    Optimizing Flash for MacBook AIR?

    Are you serious?



    If this doesn't tell you that Adobe is a fucking joke I don't know what does.
  • Reply 4 of 97
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    Narayen totally misses the point that he needs to develop a Mac-friendly version of Flash, not an MBA-specific version of Flash.



    Public opinion against Flash has become a groundswell; what he's really trying to do here is stem the bleeding. Nothing he says can be trusted, so I wouldn't put too much faith in this little Engadget puff piece.
  • Reply 5 of 97
    It's nice that Adobe has decided to respond with its engineering instead of its PR department.



    One helps its customers, the other its ego.
  • Reply 6 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Jobs also revealed that Flash is the number one reason for crashes on the Mac platform. For its part, Adobe fired back and said that any crashes of Flash in Mac OS X are not related to its software, but are instead the fault of Apple's operating system.



    That is such a lame excuse. Any developers out there think your boss would fall for that line?



    You: "It's not my fault the XYZ app keeps crashing, it's the operating system's fault."

    Boss: "Oh, ok, no problem. Take a vacation and will give you a raise."
  • Reply 7 of 97
    That's the dumbest statement ever. As long as you have access to hardware acceleration Flash works great? Well as long as I carry around a beige box with a very long extension cord Flash would work great as well. If I ever want to drain my Macbook battery I just run two Hulu videos at the same time. 15 mins and it's dead. Flash optimized for Android, optimized for MBA, optimized mobile...they just don't get it.
  • Reply 8 of 97
    joshajosha Posts: 901member
    Since I've blocked Flash with ClickToFlash, no more Safari Crashes and browsing is so much faster, plus no unecessary advertising windows distacting me.

    What BS that Adobe blames MacOS X for flash crashes. I'm with Steve, current Flash on the Mac is old crap software.

    -on my G4/1.25 MDD Tiger X.4.11
  • Reply 9 of 97
    What set all this off is Ars's study that showed flash installation on MBA ate 33% more battery. That's reason enough to disable flash completely. At least on portable computers and phones
  • Reply 10 of 97
    t2aft2af Posts: 44member
    does adobe not have access to hardware acceleration? and why not ?

    can anyone clear that up for me please ? I remember reading something about it ages ago .. but i'm not clear.
  • Reply 11 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by t2af View Post


    does adobe not have access to hardware acceleration? and why not ?

    can anyone clear that up for me please ? I remember reading something about it ages ago .. but i'm not clear.



    They have access. Didn't Steve Jobs call them lazy?
  • Reply 12 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Goldenclaw View Post


    I have no idea what that is supposed to mean, in the context of having access to hardware acceleration or otherwise.



    It means that enabling hardware acceleration improves battery life and performance on every platform. It's a terrible quote, but I think that's what it means.



    Adobe do seem to be trying pretty hard to improve Flash for the Mac, especially considering the relatively small market and the fact that Apple would just as soon see Flash die.
  • Reply 13 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevetim View Post


    They have access. Didn't Steve Jobs call them lazy?



    Because Mac platform is small, Adobe decided to save effort by coding the program without using any HW acceleration for any Macs.



    Now, it seems Adobe has given in. Jobs has won, clearly.
  • Reply 14 of 97
    gustavgustav Posts: 824member
    Hardware acceleration only helps video while it's playing. Perhaps Adobe can tell me why my fan comes on full, and the CPU usage skyrockets even while a video is paused, or has ended and still happens to be on screen.



    And what about non-video flash - how is hardware acceleration going to help there?
  • Reply 15 of 97
    I love competition especially when a serious player like Apple raises the stakes and makes folks like Adobe sweat!
  • Reply 16 of 97
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,720member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post


    Adobe do seem to be trying pretty hard to improve Flash for the Mac, especially considering the relatively small market and the fact that Apple would just as soon see Flash die.



    The market for the Flash plug-in on OSX may not be large (and OBTW the Adobe CS product split is about 50/50 between OSX and Windows), but this is a huge PR hit that Adobe takes over and over and over and over...



    Narayen is doing everything in his power to counter that notion, because Adobe knows that it's that perception that will drive future development away from Flash. It's already happening now. Pathetic, but true.



    Oh, and nice of Engadget to do everything in their power to try to give the guy the appearance of credibility...
  • Reply 17 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KangaMoJo View Post


    That's the dumbest statement ever. As long as you have access to hardware acceleration Flash works great? Well as long as I carry around a beige box with a very long extension cord Flash would work great as well. If I ever want to drain my Macbook battery I just run two Hulu videos at the same time. 15 mins and it's dead. Flash optimized for Android, optimized for MBA, optimized mobile...they just don't get it.



    Why would you run two Hulu videos at one time. What type of videos; movies or TV shows? For how long? windowed or full screen? Output to a HD TV? Volume level?



    While I think that optimizing flash for a specific machine is silly, it is no more ridiculous that your statement regarding running two videos at once.
  • Reply 18 of 97
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gustav View Post


    Hardware acceleration only helps video while it's playing. Perhaps Adobe can tell me why my fan comes on full, and the CPU usage skyrockets even while a video is paused, or has ended and still happens to be on screen.



    And what about non-video flash - how is hardware acceleration going to help there?



    While I don't care for flash, my Mac Mini's CPU (2.0Ghz dual core) usage for a flash video only increases (according to Activity Monitor) only about 10-12%. That really isn't skyrocketing.



    If you want to someone to take you serious...don't use hyperbole.
  • Reply 19 of 97
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,876member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple does not allow Flash onto its iOS-powered devices, including the iPhone and iPad.



    I'm getting tired of reading this without stating what it is that Apple actually restricts on iOS devices.



    APPLE DOESN'T ALLOW ANY 3RD PARTY RUN-TIME ENGINES ON IOS DEVICES!



    This isn't some Flash only conspiracy that the media and blogosphere love to portray it as. For instance, Silverlight is also not allowed.



    Developers *currently* do not have the ability to create any system-wide services or applications. All 3rd party code runs in a sandbox.
  • Reply 20 of 97
    I've gone to ClickToFlash on all of my Macs. We can only hope that one day Flash dies.
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