Adobe previews 64-bit Flash

November 19, 2008 | 10:37

Tags: #64-bit #browser #flash #flash-10 #flash-player #handset #iphone #s60 #smartphone #swf #symbian #windows-mobile #winmo

Companies: #adobe

Fans of Adobe's Flash will be pleased to hear that the company is looking to bring a native 64-bit version of the popular rich media technology to Windows, Mac, Linux users in the near future – along with a fully-fledged mobile version.

According to ITWire, Adobe took the stage at the Adobe Max conference in San Fransico this week to announce that it is making a pre-release version of its native 64-bit Flash plugin available for Linux users immediately, with Windows and Mac version to follow.

With all major CPUs on the market today supporting 64-bit and all modern operating systems also being available in 64-bit versions, many users find themselves irked that they are forced to run a web browser from a 32-bit binary simply to get Flash content working. I know that it's something of a pain on my 64-bit Ubuntu box – while the 32-bit Firefox install works reasonably well, there's always that niggling feeling that you're just not taking advantage of all that the platform has to offer.

While it's taken the company quite a long time to get around to a 64-bit native binary, the news that it's in the pipeline for release in the very near future is a good one. When asked why the company had released a sneak-peek Linux version without a Mac or Windows binary in sight, the company stated that “we chose Linux as the initial platform in response to numerous questions in our public Flash Player bug and issue management system and the fact that Linux distributions do not ship with a 32-bit browser or comprehensive 32-bit emulation layer by default.” The company also reiterated that it is “committed to bringing native 64-bit Flash Player to Windows and Mac in future prereleases.

As if a 64-bit binary wasn't good enough, the company has also stated that it is working on a full-blooded version of Flash Player for mobile devices. While many handsets on the market today can play Flash content, they rely on the 'Flash Lite' system to do so – a cut-down version of Flash Player that is missing many of the features of its bigger brother. During the conference, working versions of a fully-fledged Flash Player were demonstrated on handsets running Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Google's Android software platforms. Conspicuous in its absence was the iPhone, which currently has no Flash support at all: Adobe's chief technology officer Kevin Lynch said that his company is still working with Apple to get some version of Flash available on the iPhone.

Looking forward to a fully 64-bit experience when you're browsing the web, or is it the mobile versions that have caught your eye? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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