Flash Stories August 9, 2016

HTML5 by Default

In May, Google circulated a draft proposal to effectively kill Adobe Flash by blocking the plugin and prioritizing HTML5 by the end of the year. The company is going ahead with that plan to “de-emphasize” Flash with a staged disabling of the plug-in through multiple versions of Chrome.

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Flash Stories February 9, 2016

RIP Flash: Google display ads will be all HTML5 by January 2017

Google announced on its AdWords G+ profile today that its display ads will soon be 100% HTML5. From June 30th this year, display ads built using Flash can no longer be uploaded into AdWords or DoubleClick Digital Marketing. From January 2nd, 2017, Flash format display ads will no longer run on the Google Display Network or through DoubleClick.

Flash Stories October 5, 2015

android-marshmallow-update-1200-80

Google has now released the latest version of Android, dubbed Android Marshmallow, which the company first previewed earlier this year at Google I/O in San Francisco. And while Google will most certainly be rolling out the update (and subsequent updates) over-the-air with no work required on your part, many who aren’t as familiar with how to flash factory images might want to install the latest build manually.

That’s why we made this guide. If you have the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7 (2013) Nexus 9, or Nexus Player, there’s a build of Android 6.0 Marshmallow available right now for you to install on your device. Be warned however, that this process isn’t something that most regular users should attempt. If you do have a little bit of command line knowledge (or you think you want to take the time to learn), keep reading… expand full story

Flash Stories June 4, 2015

Chrome-Adobe-plug-in-pause

Google has been working with Adobe to improve battery life drain caused by Flash and today flipped the switch on a new Chrome feature that does exactly that. The new feature aims to detect Flash on a webpage that is actually important to the main content and “intelligently pause content” that isn’t as important. The result is to hopefully make the web experience with Flash more power efficient to improve battery life on your laptop. Here’s how it works: expand full story

Flash Stories February 25, 2015

Europe Antitrust Google

Google today has announced that it is introducing a way to automatically convert Adobe Flash-based ads to HTML5. Google says that eligible Flash ad campaigns, both existing and new, will automatically be converted to HTML5 when uploaded through AdWords, AdWords Editor, and a variety of third-party tools.

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Flash Stories January 27, 2015

YouTube 2015-01-27 15-00-53

Google has announced today, five years after introducing a test version of the feature, that HTML5 video on YouTube is now the default setting for video playback. Before today, Adobe Flash was used for playing YouTube videos, and users needed to go to YouTube.com/HTML5 (pictured above) to toggle the HTML5 player (if your browser supported it).

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Flash Stories July 15, 2014

Google now flags Flash content in search results on Android/iOS devices, saving clicks

If you’ve ever been frustrated by visiting a website on your smartphone or tablet and finding it won’t work because it uses Flash, you’ll welcome the latest Google initiative: it is now flagging Flash content in its search results, warning that the site may not work on your device.

Starting today, we will indicate to searchers when our algorithms detect pages that may not work on their devices. For example, Adobe Flash is not supported on iOS devices or on Android versions 4.1 and higher, and a page whose contents are mostly Flash may be noted

As Google notes, Android abandoned Flash support as of Jelly Bean due to reliability, security and performance concerns. Adobe has been forced to issue a succession of security updates to Flash, the most recent being two emergency updates earlier this year. Google says it hopes the move, coupled to Web Fundamentals and Web Starter Kit initiatives for developers will encourage the use of HTML5 in place of Flash.

Flash Stories April 3, 2014

Google-Chromecast-JW-Player

Chromecast, Google’s $35 HDMI streaming stick, is about to support streaming of a lot more video content online as JW Player prepares to introduce support. Gigaom reports that the popular HTML5 and Flash video player that is used on millions of websites to host video content will announce today that it’s launching a beta of Chromecast support.

The company is also working on some interesting new features with its Chromecast implementation:  expand full story

Flash Stories February 19, 2014

HTC-One-2014

Following weeks of rumors regarding the next-generation flagship smartphone from HTC, today images of the device have leaked via reliable leakster @evleaks. The image above shows off what appears to be an evolution of the previous HTC One design with camera and flash components that line up with earlier leaks of the device. Up until now most leaks of the device have been referring to its “M8” codename. However, the tweet from evleaks seems to indicate that the device will be branded the new “HTC One 2014” edition. It also looks like at least some partners will be getting a gold version of the device.

Yesterday, HTC sent out invites for an event being held on March 25. Rumor has it the company could skip any unveilings at Mobile World Congress later this month and hold out for its own event at the end of next month.

So far rumors for the device include a 5″ 1080p display, Android 4.4 KitKat, 3GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 800 processor, and Sense 6.0. Evleaks shared another image of the device showing off a protective case and the latest Sense homescreen (below): expand full story

Flash Stories February 18, 2014

Photo: digitaltrends.com

Photo: digitaltrends.com

With the number of Galaxy S5 leaks in recent weeks, many are expecting we’ll get our first official glimpse of the device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February. While Samsung’s invites for the “Unpacked5” event did all but confirm an unveiling for MWC, today the company has flat out said that a new flagship Galaxy smartphone will be launched in the coming weeks. In a blog post announcing new LED flash components for mobile devices, Samsung said the technology will be “used in the next Galaxy smartphone, which is expected to be introduced later this month.”

Because high-quality smartphone cameras require a wider FOV (Field of View) angle for better picture quality, Samsung’s new reflector-integrated flash LEDs are designed to enable a great deal of flexibility by providing a wide FOV within a small space through the integration of a light source,  a lead frame, and a reflector with its own optics and diffusion features.

Of course Samsung has a long line of Galaxy devices that it could possibly be referring to, but there’s a good chance we’ll see the new flagship S5 on Monday Feb. 24. The event will be live streamed at youtube.com/samsungmobile and we’ll be bringing you live coverage as new products get announced.  expand full story

Flash Stories July 9, 2013

Flash video comes to (some) Kindle Fire tablets as Amazon tests streaming viewer

AllThingsD reports that Amazon has been quietly testing a way to offer Flash video on Kindle Fire tablets.

Since February, some Kindle Fire owners have been seeing an option to use an “experimental streaming viewer” when trying to watch video on sites such as NBC.com, CBS.com and Fox.com.

The effort is made possible by the fact that the Kindle Fire browser, known as Silk, divides work between the device and Amazon servers in the cloud.

Adobe stopped supporting Flash on mobile devices back in 2011, with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)  the last version to offer Flash. While most sites have now switched to HTML5 for mobile video, there are still some that require Flash, causing frustration for those accessing the sites on smartphones and tablets.

Although getting a server to convert Flash video to a format that can be viewed by a device without Flash is an approach used by a number of browsers, it has so far mostly been the preserve of geeks. If Amazon opens the service to all Kindle users – as seems likely from the company’s comments – it will turn it into a mainstream option.

“Because this feature is built on the AWS cloud, expanding our list of available sites is as simple as a configuration change that immediately propagates to customer devices and we can scale out elastically based upon customer demand,” said Kufeld, who heads Amazon’s Silk browser team. “It’s still early days but we’re very excited about this feature.”

Flash Stories June 4, 2013

Google announced its new HTML5 creation tool called Web Designer (via Tech Crunch) that it says will ship “in the coming months.”

Google Web Designer will empower creative professionals to create cutting-edge advertising as well as engaging web content like sites and applications – for free.

In its announcement, Google notes that “90% of multiple device owners switch between screens to complete tasks,” emphasizing the importance of HTML5 based content to reach users on mobile devices. expand full story

Flash Stories June 29, 2012

Adobe: No support for Flash on Android 4.1; No new installs from Google Play starting August 15

Adobe announced it abandoned mobile Flash last fall, but the company just confirmed to the masses that Google’s new Android 4.1 OS does not have certification for Flash. It is also stopping access to Flash Player updates and installations from Google Play on August 15, but security updates will continue for existing users.

Check out the full presser: 

An Update on Flash Player and Android

We announced last November that we are focusing our work with Flash on PC browsing and mobile apps packaged with Adobe AIR, and will be discontinuing our development of the Flash Player for mobile browsers.  This post provides an update on what this means for ongoing access to the Flash Player browser plugin for Android in the Google Play Store.The Flash Player browser plugin integrates tightly with a device’s browser and multimedia subsystems (in ways that typical apps do not), and this necessitates integration by our device ecosystem partners.  To ensure that  the Flash Player provides the best possible experience for users, our partner program requires certification of each Flash Player implementation.  Certification includes extensive testing to ensure web content works as expected, and that the Flash Player provides a good user experience. Certified devices typically include the Flash Player pre-loaded at the factory or as part of a system update.Devices that don’t have the Flash Player provided by the manufacturer typically are uncertified, meaning the manufacturer has not completed the certification testing requirements. In many cases users of uncertified devices have been able to download the Flash Player from the Google Play Store, and in most cases it worked. However, with Android 4.1 this is no longer going to be the case, as we have not continued developing and testing Flash Player for this new version of Android and its available browser options.  There will be no certified implementations of Flash Player for Android 4.1.

Beginning August 15th we will use the configuration settings in the Google Play Store to limit continued access to Flash Player updates to only those devices that have Flash Player already installed. Devices that do not have Flash Player already installed are increasingly likely to be incompatible with Flash Player and will no longer be able to install it from the Google Play Store after August 15th.

The easiest way to ensure ongoing access to Flash Player on Android 4.0 or earlier devices is to use certified devices and ensure that the Flash Player is either pre-installed by the manufacturer or installed from Google Play Store before August 15th. If a device is upgraded from Android 4.0 to Android 4.1, the current version of Flash Player may exhibit unpredictable behavior, as it is not certified for use with Android 4.1.  Future updates to Flash Player will not work.  We recommend uninstalling Flash Player on devices which have been upgraded to Android 4.1.

For developers who need ongoing access to released versions of Flash Player for Android, those will remain available in the archive of released Flash Player versions.  Installations made from the archive will not receive updates through the Google Play Store.

As always this and other Flash runtime roadmap updates can be found in the Adobe roadmap for the Flash runtimes white paper.

Flash Stories January 18, 2012

Everyone has their SOPA/PIPA things today (and that is good!).  Here is ours.

My former professor, Clay Shirky, explains what SOPA and PIPA are, what will happen if these are passed and why it is bad.  He’s good at this stuff.

Yes it’s Flash (original version here). expand full story

Flash Stories December 16, 2011

It ain’t dead yet: Flash 11.1 delivered to Android 4.0 ICS

Those ICS early adopters who want to browse all the Internets, including the ones that are Flash enabled, got some good news today that Flash 11.1 is ready, right on time, for Android 4.0.  Currently available in the Android Market, the release date actually says Dec 12th wich was a few days before the release […]

Flash Stories November 29, 2011

Two months ago, Adobe unveiled Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 for Android devices. As you know, the company changed its mind and said recently it will halt Flash development on mobile after Ice Cream Sandwich. Even though they pledged to continuously support mobile platforms with critical bugs and security flaws, users have gotten confused as to whether or not Adobe will release Flash Player 11.1 and AIR 3.1 for the Galaxy Nexus devices.

The company took to the official blog to explain that some support is in fact in the cards:

We will provide a minor update to the runtimes to support the Galaxy Nexus in December.

However, Adobe reminded users that it’s always been phone vendors’ and carriers’ responsibility to deploy Flash and AIR updates to their customers:

To be clear, the Galaxy Nexus does not initially support Adobe Flash Player 11.1 and AIR 3.1. As we previously communicated in a blog post, devices and software updates from our partners which introduce new technologies are being developed on varied schedules that are different from our own, which means that the Adobe runtimes may not always be optimized or supported on devices until a subsequent release.

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Flash Stories September 8, 2011

An example Chrome advert before and after the conversion. Go here for live demo.

Swiffy, Google’s experimental tool that converts Flash files to HTML5 code, will not be killed off due to their Fall spring-cleaning which will retire other Google Labs projects, namely Fast Flip, Desktop and Notebook, among others. Engineer Pieter Senster wrote in a post over at the official Google Code blog that Swiffy has a new home at g.co/swiffy. Although it’s in beta and won’t convert overly complex Flash files, Swiffy has gotten off to a great start and already users have converted “hundreds of thousands of files”, the company noted.

Google also highlighted several new features, such as support for shape tweening and drop shadow, blur and glow filters, all using SVG, CSS and JavaScript. A great example of Swiffy is this Chrome banner, which converted into HTML5 runs and looks just as smooth and pixel-perfect as its Flash counterpart. Google specifically mentions iOS devices in the Swiffy description which details how the web-based tool lets people“reuse Flash content on devices without a Flash player (such as iPhones and iPads)”.

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Flash Stories August 10, 2011

After sending out the usual laundry list of bug fixes for its Flash Player yesterday, Adobe is coming under pressure from Google security engineer Tavis Ormandy who claims the update only listed 13 of the approximately “400 unique vulnerabilities”… A number he describes as “embarrassingly high”.

Ormandy claims he sent the bugs to be fixed “as part of an ongoing security audit” and, according to a report from Computerworld, was “upset that he was not credited for his bug reports”. After noticing he hadn’t received credit in the patch, he took to Twitter to address his concerns, prompting Adobe’s senior manager of corporate communications to tweet the following:

“Tavis, please do not confuse sample files with unique vulnerabilities. What is Google’s agenda here?”

Ormandy responded, also in a tweet, saying:

“I don’t know what Google’s agenda is, but my agenda is getting credit for my work and getting vulnerabilities documented.”

Hours before the patch officially rolled out, Google launched the latest version of Chrome 13 and 14, which included the Flash Player patch in question, and was accompanied by the following statement from Google:

“The Chrome Team would especially like to thank Tavis Ormandy, the Google Security Team, and Google for donating a large amount of time and compute power to identify a significant number of vulnerabilities resolved in this release of Flash Player.”

Adobe did credit 10 other researchers in the report accompanying the update, but had only this to say about Google and Ormandy’s work:

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Flash Stories June 28, 2011

Well, this is interesting… Google is advertising on its Google Labs page an experimental tool which aims to liberate web developers from the confines of Adobe’s Flash platform. They are calling it Swiffy (sweet) and its sole purpose is to convert Flash SWF files to HTML5. But make no mistake about it – this is about Apple’s iOS gadgets. Google itself says Swiffy lets you “reuse Flash content on devices without a Flash player (such as iPhones and iPads)”. Interesting Apple’s frenemy all of a sudden took it upon themselves to help port Flash content to Apple’s devices.

It’s a web-based tool and we’ve tried it on several relatively simple Flash animations, the ones usually seen running as annoying adverts on web sites. Surprisingly, Swiffy did quite a good job converting sample SWFs to HTML5, sans custom fonts that didn’t translate well into HTML5. Just don’t expect the latest Flash games and heavy project with lots of interactive features to port smoothly or at all. In fact, the search company is downplaying the importance of Swiffy, saying you shouldn’t expect miracles. “Swiffy currently supports a subset of SWF 8 and ActionScript 2.0, and the output works in all Webkit browsers such as Chrome and Mobile Safari,” the company noted.

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Flash Stories June 8, 2011

Google has updated the stable Chrome channel with new security, privacy and graphics acceleration enhancement. Carrying a build number of 12.0.742.91, Google’s browser now warns you before downloading certain malicious files “without Chrome or Google ever having to know about the URLs you visit or the files you download”, software engineer Adrienne Walker explained in a post on the Chrome blog.

The team has also advanced Chrome’s GPU-assisted hardware acceleration to include 3D CSS elements on Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Windows Vista or later. Finally, Google has worked closely with Adobe to provide greater control over local storage for Flash Player’s Local Shared Objects directly from Chrome’s settings, without having to visit a special page on Adobe’s site to tweak your settings . Thanks to Chrome’s silent updating mechanism, your copy of Chrome will automatically update itself to the latest stable version available. If not, choose About Google Chrome from the wrench menu.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com

Check out GPU-acceleration improvements in the “Shaun the Sheep” Chrome experiment which lets you rotate and scale the video, disable or enable cool reflections and more.

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