Adobe has finished work on version 10.2 of the Flash plug-in for Windows, Mac, and Linux. There are a few notable changes, but one big update has taken care of a thorn in our side (and possibly yours) for years. Flash 10.2 has the ability to keep full screen video on one monitor, while using other content on a second. You will never be as productive again. But that's not all the update has to offer.
Flash is often the villain in any tale of technological woe. It eats battery, hogs resources, and can even make your system vulnerable to malware. Well, the new version of Chrome can at least address that last issue. The version of Chrome for Windows that was just pushed to the beta channel sandboxes Flash and other plug-ins so they are less able to harm your system. Any malicious code will be unable to spread beyond the tab it enters through.
Google has been talking about making this change for months now. Google recognizes that plug-ins are a real security threat, and if Chrome is to keep accumulating market share, they need to address it. Chrome will now keep Flash up to date in the background in the same way the browser itself is kept updated.
Flash might not be perfect, but we support any effort to make it safer. What's your impression of Flash and Adobe's commitment to security these days?
Google recently updated Chrome with the ability to automatically update the Adobe Flash plug-in. In an upcoming revision, Google's browser will gain power over other plug-ins as well. The out of date plug-ins will be blocked from working, while also offering the option to assist the user in updating them. Vulnerabilities in plug-ins are one of the most often exploited security issues.
The search giant did not have an approximate date users could expect to see the feature added. The browser will also eventually have the ability to determine when a plug-in is being run under suspicious circumstances. When a plug-in is rarely used, it's activation could be a sign of malicious behavior. Chrome could be able to take not of this and notify the user.
Chrome has a beta and developer build channel, so we're likely to get some warning before this feature hits the majority of users. The changes don't sound too intrusive, and we like the idea of all our plug-ins being kept up to date automatically.
Google and Adobe are getting along swimmingly these days. In the mobile space, Android is the only platform that currently has full Flash support, and now Google's desktop browser has the Flash Player built in. The newest stable version of Chrome 5.0.376.86 has Adobe Flash by default. This feature was present in the beta and developer channels at various times recently, but now it is rolled out everywhere.
Many developers and consumers feel Flash is too resource intensive, and should be replaced by HTML5 standards. Interestingly, Google is one company pushing HTML5 quite hard. It seems they are willing to support multiple standards for the benefit of users who, like it or not, need to use Flash content from time to time.
Users who don't want the plug-in for whatever reason can disable it. Type about:plugins into the address bar and hit enter. From this page, you can turn off Flash, or any other plug-ins you don't want.
Mozilla is working on an uncharacteristically big feature addition for the upcoming release of Firefox 3.6.4. The Firefox team has been hard at work to develop a component segmented system similar to the one that makes Chrome so crash resistant. Now the so called "out-of-process" plug-in feature is expected to roll out in the next release.
An out-of-process plug-in would run as its own process separate from Firefox itself. For example, in the Windows task manager you would see Firefox.exe as well as a process for each plug-in . In this way, a crashing component would not have to bring the browser to its knees. Firefox could endure crashes of Flash content or Java much as Chrome does.
The 3.6.4 release is planned for a May 4th rollout. Frankly, the sooner we see this the better. With the rapid pace of Chrome development and adoption, the folks as Mozilla can't afford to wait. If you just can't wait, the most recent nightly build has the feature enabled. So, any Chrome users planning to give Firefox another go with this feature?
Adobe has released the third beta version of Flash 10.1, and it comes with a nice treat for the early adopter on the move. Beta 3 finally adds GPU acceleration support for the Intel GMA 500 chipset. This is the graphics hardware found in the majority of netbooks. What does this mean in practical terms? Well, just 720p Flash video on a netbook, that’s all.
Over at Engadget they were able to coax a Dell Mini 10 to play back 1080p content as well. Both Youtube and CBS streaming appeared to work well enough with minor lag. Still, when any previous attempts to play this content brought a netbook to a grinding halt, you can’t be too picky.
The results are good for a beta. Sure, there’s still some jitter but it’s a vast improvement. Adobe has been racing to complete the update of the much maligned plug-in. The new beta gives us hope that the wait may be worth it. Get the beta 3 version of Flash right here and enjoy.
I covered some awesome Firefox plugins a little bit ago, and it only seems fitting for Google Chrome to receive the same treatment. But as you're undoubtedly aware, Google Chrome doesn't feature built-in extension support like other popular browsers on the market. Or does it?
Actually, if you run the developer builds of Chrome, you can access the wonderful (beta) world of browser add-ons with but a few extra commands and tweaks. Seeing as very few people who use Chrome know or care about this little modification, it stands that the actual world of add-ons for the browser is pretty small right now. That said, there are still some neat extras that you can build into your browser--including some add-ons that mimic the best of what you'll find in Firefox's expansive database.
So what are you waiting for? Click the jump and I'll show you how to surf with add-ons, then give you a list of neat ones to try out!