A recent Adobe Flash Player 10.2 update has spilled the beans on Android 3.1. The update says that Flash Player 10.2 supports “hardware accelerated video,” provided that a user is running the unannounced Android 3.1 operating system. This should drastically increase video playback performance, specifically with HD video, on Honeycomb tablets. Google hasn’t yet announced Android 3.1, but we expect to hear more it during Google’s I/O developer conference on May 10th and 11th in San Francisco. More →
During Microsoft’s MIX conference in Las Vegas, Windows Phone director Joe Belfiore took the stage to demonstrate how well Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer 9 mobile browser can render HTML5 websites. He fired up a device running Microsoft’s new Windows Phone “Mango” update with IE9 installed and hardware acceleration, and then started an HTML5 speed test pitting the Mango device against the iPhone 4 and the Google Nexus S. Belfiore was so confident in the new browser that he gave the iPhone 4 a head start. Nonetheless, IE9 loaded the demo faster and came out on top, having displayed the test at 20 frames per second. It was followed by the Android browser on the Nexus S, which rendered the same demo at 11 frames per second, and then the iPhone 4 at 2 frames per second. This wasn’t exactly an independent test given that it was preformed by Microsoft and likely under optimal conditions, but we are definitely still impressed with what we’ve seen so far — let’s just hope the update to Mango goes a bit smoother than NoDo. Hit the jump for the video comparison. More →
A technical document discovered on Apple’s developer website details a new Video Decode Acceleration framework within Mac OS X 10.6.3. The framework provides developers with low-level access to the GPUs of the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M or GeForce GT 330M and allows them to tap into the hardware to accelerate the decoding of H.264 videos. A potential benefactor of this capability would be Adobe and its Flash player which has known performance issues on the Mac platform. Mac models expected to see this boost include the MacBook Pro, the Mac mini, and the low-end iMac, each of which rock one of the above graphics cards.
WebOS 1.3.5 was released to the masses last week and its inner workings were promptly picked apart by eager webOS hackers. One of the most exciting finds was the inclusion of the SDL library in this latest version of webOS. SDL is an acronym for Simple DirectMedia Layer, an open source library that provides a programming interface to a platform’s underlying audio, graphics and input devices. Translated into English, this means that Palm webOS developers will have direct access to the underlying graphics hardware of a device making hardware accelerated graphics a reality.
The first realization of this hardware acceleration is a webOS port of DOOM, which was quickly followed by a port of Quake. An offshoot discovery also revealed native application support within the codebase of webOS 1.3.5, an inclusion which allows webOS users to install and launch a native Linux app without any hacking. Native Linux applications, SDL-support, and hardware graphics acceleration all add up to a potentially sweet gaming experience on the Pre and an equally exciting CES 2010 announcement. Hit the jump for a quick demo of Quake and Doom running on the Pre.