Adobe to improve Flash support for OS X

Adobe has recently come in for criticism regarding its implementation of Flash support for OS X. Steve Jobs himself has been vocally critical of Adobe's browser plugins for Safari, blaming Flash as the number one cause of crashes on the Mac platform. Speaking last week at a "Town Hall" meeting, Jobs reportedly called Adobe 'lazy' and reiterated his belief that HTML5 will eventually negate the need for Flash.

It is widely believed that it was Apple's choice, rather than Adobe's, not to allow a Flash plugin for Mobile Safari, which is used on the iPhone, iPod Touch and the upcoming iPad.

Regular Mac users also note that Flash uses many more CPU resources under Mac OS X than it does on the same computer running Windows. Despite this Adobe has, until now, asserted that Flash performance and stability on the Mac platform has been satisfactory.

In a reply to his own blog post, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch has now promised improvements to Flash performance saying, "Given identical hardware, Flash Player on Windows has historically been faster than the Mac, and it is for the most part the same code running in Flash for each operating system." He continues, "In Flash Player 10.1 we are moving to Core Animation, which will further reduce CPU usage and, we believe, will get us to the point where Mac will be faster than Windows for graphics rendering."

Lynch also notes that streaming video is now one of the top uses for Flash and expects that performance optimisations in version 10.1 will cut CPU usage on the Mac in half. 

Flash 10.1 is currently in beta and is available for download from Adobe.

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