Recently, Adobe Labs made the mobile version of Flash 10.1 available to Android users who are running Froyo or version 2.2. As I mentioned in my Streak post, when the Froyo upate comes to it later this year, it too will have Flash capability. Despite what you might have read from other companies, I think there's still a lot of interest in being able to play Flash content on lots mobile devices and beyond.
Earlier, the folks at Adobe also released the desktop version of the Flash 10.1 player. I downloaded and installed version 10.1.53.64 to kick the tires a bit on my Studio XPS 7100 desktop that I bought not too long ago outfitted with a 1055T 6-core processor with a 5870 graphics card. Bottom line, with the new version of Flash, my system chewed through HD Flash content without breaking a sweat. Case in point, I played the Dark Knight 1080p trailer clip usually under 10% CPU utilization.
Click on the photo above to see a larger version
What's noteworthy about this iteration of the Flash 10.1 desktop player? Hardware acceleration, namely via the GPU. To the average user, it means you can play HD-quality Flash videos without taxing your system processor. It wasn't long ago that playing HD video required a pretty powerful processor and/ or GPU. These days, with things like the new version of Flash, even a pretty modest notebook config can get the job done for HD playback.
That said, I'm a desktop fan at heart. Hoping to push my system a bit harder, I tried the same 1080p Dark Knight trailer running at the same time I ran two Hulu 480p streams and a CBS.com clip all at the same time. Verdict: CPU utilization hovered around 17%.
It's a good time to be a hardware geek.
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