Last week Adobe developers pushed out release candidate versions of the new AIR SDK and Flash Player 11.
These two major developments contain an unsurprisingly exhaustive list of new enhanced features and performance improvements, across mobile, desktop and TV; but here I'll focus on what I consider to be the most exciting developments.
One of the key features of AIR 3 is the Native Extensions (for mobile), which now allows developers to extend runtime with ActionScript libraries and native code, taking advantage of the built-in features of each platform and device specific capabilities. Whilst its a big step in terms of the previous limitations, one code wont fit them all, and the native portions of an extension are written with the corresponding development tool.
The mobile part of the SDK also includes the Stage Video Hardware Acceleration, which improves the high definition video playback experience - something which I thought was pretty poor on iOS with AIR2.7. Security has also been improved, with Encrypted Local Storage now available when storing sensitive data on the phone. In regards to iOS support, Background Audio Playback has been added, and we also have
at last the Front-facing Camera Support on Android!
Adobe didn't forget about desktops and T.V., with Stage 3D offering a brand new architecture for 2D/3D accelerated graphics rendering - this exciting new feature is also a part of the Flash Player 11 release note.
Others key benefits of the 11th version of Flash Player are the Native 64-bit support (Windows, Mac & Linux), a new JPEG-XR compression format and support for the efficient H.264 video standard.
The release notes containing the full list of new features can be viewed here.