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Adobe Suggests Flash Hardware Acceleration Issues On Mac OS X Lion

Apple's recently released Mac OS X Lion upgrade apparently does not support hardware acceleration in Adobe's Flash Player, impacting the performance of many web-based games [UPDATE: Adobe clarifies.]
Apple's recently released Mac OS X Lion upgrade is apparently causing issues with hardware acceleration in Adobe's Flash Player, impacting the performance of many graphics-heavy web applications including games. A list of known issues with Mac OS 10.7 Lion posted by Adobe notes that "Flash Player may cause higher CPU activity when playing a YouTube video. Possibly related to disabled hardware acceleration." It's unclear whether this issue is a deliberate effort by Apple to limit Flash's performance on the new OS or simply an unexpected glitch in Flash Player related to the operating system upgrade. Regardless, many games which make use of the feature, which was first announced last October, will see a performance hit on Apple's new OS for at least the time being. Apple has been famously hostile to Flash in recent years, barring the Flash Player from running on its popular iOS devices over what Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs called "technology issues" and a philosophical preference for open standards such as HTML5. Adobe's Chuck Geschke and John Warnock responded to Jobs' assertion by saying blocking Flash on iOS "comes at the expense of the very creativity and innovation that has made the Internet a revolutionary force." A recent side-by-side test on Android phones found HTML5 apps struggling to match the performance of similar Adobe Flash apps on a variety of mobile devices. Gamasutra has reached out to both Adobe and Apple for comment. [UPDATE: Adobe has responded with a clarification, saying the note on the knowledge base article was " based on tests with a pre-release version of Mac OS X Lion that related to only one particular Mac GPU configuration." The final release fully supports hardware acceleration in Flash, the company said.] The final release of Mac OS X Lion (10.7) provides the same support for Flash hardware video acceleration as Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6). The previous “Known Issue” suggesting that video hardware acceleration was disabled in Lion was incorrect and based on tests with a pre-release version of Mac OS X Lion that related to only one particular Mac GPU configuration. We continue to work closely with Apple to provide Flash Player users with a high quality experience on Mac computers.

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