During the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco today, Google discussed the future of its “Chrome OS” platform, as well as some future products that will soon hit the market. Google has improved the performance of Adobe Flash playback within the browser, and the OS will now recognize I/O devices — such as cameras — when they’re plugged into the computer. Other new features include Google Music integration, a new photo manager that allows you to send directly to Picasa, and an option to upload files directly to Box.net. Google’s bread and butter, Gmail, Calendar, and Docs are all now accessible while offline. Hackers will also appreciate a new built-in jailbreaking feature. Samsung and Acer will both introduce “Chromebooks” on June 15th for $429 and $399, respectively. Samsung will also sell a 3G version of its Chromebook for $499. Those prices sound a bit high to us considering that you can get a full-fledged Windows 7 netbook for that price, but we’ll see if the market agrees.
Qualcomm has released a few videos promoting its next-generation dual-core Mobile Development Platform, which includes its blazing fast MSM8660 Snapdragon processor. The video shows the platform’s Adreno 220 graphics processing unit chewing through 720p HD video. Similarly, Qualcomm’s single-core QSD8255 processor bests an LG Optimus 2X, powered by a a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, in a Flash load test. What’s so exciting about that? The MSM8660 Snapdragon chipset powers devices such as the HTC EVO 3D, headed to Sprint, and the HTC Sensation 4G for T-Mobile that will launch in the coming months. Hit the jump for two quick videos. More →
Research In Motion is working with Hulu in an effort to provide BlackBerry PlayBook users with access to Hulu’s online videos, The Wall Street Journal is reporting. The BlackBerry PlayBook launched with full Adobe Flash support, which meant PlayBook users were able to stream movies and television shows from the online content provider, until Hulu decided to block access earlier this week. “We are in conversations with Hulu to bring Hulu Plus subscription service to BlackBerry PlayBook users,” a spokeswoman for RIM told The Wall STreet Journal. Hulu Plus costs $7.99 per month, however, so it appears that Hulu’s free offering will continue to be blocked for the foreseeable future. More →
Adobe has identified a zero-day exploit in the latest version of Flash Player 10.2 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. Using the the security hole, an attacker can potentially run malicious code and even take control of an affected system. While the vulnerability and potential damage to a system are significant, common sense will help users avoid the issue in most cases. The malicious code that takes advantage of this exploit is typically delivered as a Flash file embedded in a Microsoft Word document attached to an email. Most users in this day and age know to avoid such files. Adobe is currently working on a fix for the security hole, though the company has not stated when the fix might become available. More →
Adobe on Monday unveiled the latest version of its Creative Suite software, version 5.5, which includes a new SDK for building smartphone and tablet applications that can interact with its famous Photoshop desktop software. To showcase some of the possibilities brought about by its new SDK, Adobe also introduced three new apps for Apple’s iPad. Adobe Eazel is a finger painting app with enhanced controls and nifty multitouch support, and creations can be stored locally or beamed over Wi-Fi to Photoshop CS5. Adobe Nav allows users to move menus and other controls off of their PC displays and over to the iPad. The app also allows users to view Photoshop documents on their tablet displays. Finally, Adobe Color Lava turns the iPad into a modern color mixing palette that pushes color creations directly to Photoshop CS5. Eazel, Nav and Color Lava will become available some time next month for between $1.99 and $4.99 pending Apple’s approval, of course. In the meantime, hit the break for a video of Adobe’s new apps in action. More →
Adobe Flash support was noticeably absent from the Motorola XOOM at launch, though it was because Adobe wanted to ship Flash 10.2 as opposed to 10.1, and that’s all finally in the past. Starting today, Adobe Flash 10.2 will be available in the Android market for most Android devices — Froyo, Gingerbread and Honeycomb. It supports dual-core CPU smartphones, increased battery life performance, and will even support full 720p Flash playback in the general availability release due “within weeks.” We have been playing with Adobe Flash 10.2 on our XOOM for about a day and we have to say, performance has been pretty stellar. That also is without full hardware acceleration including hardware rendering and compositing, which Adobe told us will come soon. Keep checking the Android Market for the latest version of Flash and let us know what kind of performance increases you’re seeing, alright?
Two of Apple’s component suppliers, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co and Toshiba, have reportedly shut down some of their operations in Japan in the wake of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, this could result in shortages of Apple’s iPad 2 and iPhone 4 in March, through the rest of the first quarter, and into June. Toshiba manufactures 40% of the world’s flash memory, and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co is believed to be Apple’s go-to company for BT resin — which is used on circuit boards. Munster says Apple’s strategy to buy from multiple component suppliers could help soften the blow. “This strategy has proven to be an effective way for Apple to leverage its balance sheet and its position as one of the largest buyers of many of the components it uses; moreover, this strategy may prove particularly helpful if supply is limited and pricing increases,” wrote Munster. “Finally, we believe Apple buys futures on important components, which will help offset near-term pricing swings. Our conclusion is that Apple is well positioned to suffer proportionally less than its competitors.” Apple’s stock traded down sharply yesterday on the news of an analyst downgrade and potential supply shortages. More →
Motorola’s corporate Twitter account just sent out a tweet announcing that the Motorola XOOM will be receiveing an OTA software upgrade later today. The expected enhancements? Improvements for daylight savings time (change your clocks on Saturday, y’all) and support for the upcoming Adobe Flash 10.2 release. The OTA will hit XOOM tablets later on in the evening and your device can be updated over 3G or Wi-Fi.
Adobe has announced that it will release Flash Player 10.2 for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) devices, as well as a beta version for Android 3.0.1 Honeycomb tablets, on March 18th. The release will provide performance improvements and take advantage of the dual-core and GPU-enabled processors in phones such as the Motorola ATRIX 4G and LG Optimus 2X. The addition of a new soft-keyboard should make it easier for developers to optimize desktop apps for use on full-touchscreen smartphones and tablets, too. Adobe worked closely with Google on the new Android 3.0.1 Honeycomb update to add support for hardware accelerated, HD, H.264 video content using the Stage Video rendering pipeline. On Honeycomb tablets, Flash Player 10.2 will also offer improved webpage scrolling, and better support for websites that implement HTML content on top of Flash Player content. Unfortunately, these features won’t be supported on Android 2.2 (Froyo) or Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) just yet, however.
In January 2009, legendary singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder went to the Consumer Electronics Show and asked companies to consider the blind when building their wares. At the time, Wonder had the iPhone in mind — and Apple would answer the call. The company made its popular smartphone much more accessible to the blind in its subsequent software release by adding a great VoiceOver feature. According to recent rumors, the iPhone could soon become even more accessible thanks to the introduction of more robust voice controls. But developers are doing their part as well, and one in particular recently released an application that helps emphasize the kind of power smartphones have to make people’s lives easier. More →
Via a brief blog post, software giant Adobe has announced a preview of its “Wallaby” Flash-to-HTML5 conversion tool. The company is describing Wallaby as “experimental technology,” but notes that it will facilitate the viewing of FLA files on iOS devices. “This [Wallaby] allows you to reuse and extend the reach of your content to devices that do not support the Flash runtimes,” writes Adobe. “Once these files are converted to HTML, you can edit them with an HTML editing tool, such as Adobe Dreamweaver, or by hand if desired.” Not all Flash features are supported by the conversion utility and Adobe does warn of a handful of documented, known issues. Hit the jump to see a video of the utility in action. More →
Earlier today, mobile browser maker Skyfire announced the release of Skyfire 3.0 for Apple’s iPhone. The full-point, browser upgrade packs improved video support for Adobe’s Flash protocol, Twitter and Facebook integration, a new OneTouch Search feature, content recommendations from social network friends, and an integrated Facebook “Like” button.
“Skyfire 3.0 for iPhone makes for the most compelling mobile browsing experience to date,” said Jeff Glueck, Skyfire’s CEO. “This latest iteration leverages the cloud to not only streamline playback of rich multimedia – including Flash video – but also to seamlessly integrate your social graph into the browser.”
The Skyfire web browser retails for $2.99 in the App Store — version 3.0 is a free upgrade for all current Skyfire owners. Hit the jump to see a video of the new code in action. More →
At Mobile World Congress on Monday, BGR sat down with Adobe to review how its Flash platform did in the mobile space in 2010 and what the company is looking for this year, in 2011. The results pretty much speak for themselves and, regardless of what some OEMs say, the platform is popular, plentiful, and here to stay. Hit the jump to hear the informal State of Flash address. More →