While Adobe Flash’s domination has been waning over the past couple of months, it’s still a very popular technology for displaying full-screen, high definition (HD), video streams, games, and effect-heavy websites. Despite this, Flash has gained a reputation for being a very CPU-heavy technology that slows down PCs and decreases desktop battery life. However, Adobe recently released a beta-version of its Flash Player 11.2 which addresses performance problems and promises massive speed and usability enhancements. So unless Flash officially vanishes, you should definitely jump on the latest version to get the best web performance! In this blog post, we’ll give you a quick rundown of this update and tell you where to get Flash 11.2.
Adobe releases Flash Player 11.2 Beta – What’s new?
The new beta of Adobe Flash Player (download available here) makes use of multi-threading during video playback. With this feature, video streaming in both standard and high-definition will now use multiple threads on your multi-core machines and thus delivering improved playback performance. In my hands-on performance test, a 1080p full HD stream used two (out of my four) cores instead of just one, and also did not need more than 20% of CPU performance for playback. It ran stutter-free and switched between full-screen and windowed mode quickly. However, Adobe notes that this improvement is largely targeted toward lower-end devices such as low-end desktops, netbooks, tablets, and even TVs.
Adobe promises the version will:
- Eliminate jitter seen occasionally in some encoding and typically in live streams and real time interactive scenarios
- Reduce dropped frames as much as 50% on certain platforms with high bit-rate content
- Deliver frame accuracy
- Offer high resolution/bit-rate content decoding to keep the player UI responsive and to keep any background ActionScript processing running
- Provide multithreaded video decoding to make the seek more responsive and also to start playback faster after seek
- Come with 50+ fixes as part of the modernization of the video pipeline architecture
Adobe also implemented an automatic background updater. While this is not included in the beta, it will be part of the final version. For that, you may want to check for an official release on their website in a few weeks. Also, in order for first-person games and other immersive or panoramic games to work better, Flash Player 11.2 offers some enhancements with mouse control.
Again, Flash Player 11.2 Beta is a good solution for anyone looking for better web performance. I’ve installed the beta on all my machines (two desktops, three laptops, one tablet) and have not run into any problems with this pre-release version. So, if you’re suffering from poor Flash performance, by all means, download this version now. To do so, simply visit Adobe Labs and choose the right installers. Here are the direct links:
Flash Player 11.2 Beta 32-bit Installers
- Download for Windows 32-bit – for Internet Explorer only (3.9 MB)
- Download for Windows 32-bit – Chrome, Firefox and other browsers (4.5 MB)
Flash Player 11.2 Beta 64-bit Installers
- Download for Windows 64-bit – for Internet Explorer only (8.3 MB)
- Download for Windows 64-bit – Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers (8.9 MB)
Any questions on Flash 11.2? Did you try out the beta? Let us know!