Adobe has released Flash Player 11 for Windows, Mac, and Android. While desktop computer users get new “Stage 3D” hardware accelerated 2D and 3D graphics for rendering that’s up to 1000 times faster than Flash Player 10, mobile users will have to wait a little longer for those features. Stage 3D for Android, iOS, and BlackBerry Tablet OS will be available “in an upcoming release.”
That said, Flash for Android now supports protected content, which means that you may be able to watch some DRM protected videos on a mobile device soon. The update also offers bug fixes, security updates and performance improvements, although it’s not entirely clear from the release notes which of those improvements are available for Android.
Adobe also rolled out AIR 3 today. Adobe AIR is a runtime that allows developers to use Adobe’s Flash tools to write apps which run as native apps on Android and other platforms. Adobe says there are over 10,000 mobile apps available that are based on AIR… but to be honest, I haven’t come across many high quality Android apps that require the AIR runtime to run.
That said, AIR 3 does look like a nice step forward, with support for Stage Video Hardware Acceleration on Android 3.1 and up, access to front-facing cameras, speaker controls, and support for 16-bit and 32-bit color depth.