Flash Player 10.2 has been released. The latest update to the very popular platform focuses on video, with hardware acceleration, HD-playback and multi-monitor viewing taking center stage. Flash Player 10.2 is available on all major desktop platforms today as well as bundled with the latest Google Chrome updates.
"We’re especially excited that this release introduces Stage Video, a full hardware accelerated video pipeline for best-in-class, beautiful video across platforms and browsers," Tom Nguyen, Product Manager for Flash Platform Runtimes, announced.
"Additionally, this version of Flash Player offers all the new capabilities previewed in our beta release, like custom native mouse cursors, multiple monitor full-screen support, Internet Explorer 9 hardware accelerated rendering support, and enhanced sub-pixel rendering for superior text readability," he continued.
The biggest update is the introduction of the Stage Video API and technology. Essentially, it enables websites to take full advantage of the video hardware to accelerate every stage of the video rendering process.
This means that the CPU is involved very little in the process, freeing it to take care of other tasks. Basically every GPU in relatively modern machines has dedicated components that handle HD decoding much better than the CPU.
Website owners have to update the player on their sites, but this mostly involves a few simple changes, the video files or the web pages themselves are unaffected.
YouTube, Vimeo and others have already implemented the new API, so installing Flash Player 10.2 should result in an instant performance boost for HD videos from the popular sites.
Enabling you to enjoy HD video, Flash Player 10.2 also includes support for multi monitor setups. This enables users to stretch out videos on two or more monitors, or watch video on one and have the desktop displayed on the other.
Also in the hardware acceleration department, Flash Player 10.2 comes with support for IE9's GPU rendering technology. Another highlight is sub-pixel rendering, leading to smoother looking text.
Adobe Flash Player 10.2 for Windows is available for download here.
Adobe Flash Player 10.2 for Mac is available for download here.
Adobe Flash Player 10.2 for Linux is available for download here.