Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

Adobe releases Flash Player 10.1 for Mac


Adobe has declared its 10.1 release of Flash Player a Golden Master and is now serving it as the default Flash Player download after more than six months of beta testing.

The new Universal Binary Flash 10.1 works with Firefox, Opera and Safari and fixes a variety of outstanding problems. Chrome is notably absent from Adobe's list of supported browsers on the Mac. The 10.1 release is also being offered for Windows, Linux and Solaris users, along with a beta version that works with Android 2.2.

The latest Safari 5 ships with Flash Player 10.0; Mac users wanting to upgrade to the latest version of Flash can do so at Adobe's download site.

Flash privacy failure

Among the new features of Flash 10.1 is support for browser privacy features, which prevent Flash local data and browsing activity from persisting locally if the user has turned on the private browsing feature.

However, Adobe says this feature is not supported for Opera or Safari, meaning that Flash content won't respect users' private browsing preferences.

Another feature of Flash 10.1 is new DRM content protection that limits playback of video content over analog or digital outputs. However, that feature is only enforced on Windows.

Preview support for hardware accelerated video

The new Flash Player 10.1 release doesn't yet include official support for hardware video acceleration, a new feature Apple just enabled Adobe to provide with new Mac OS X APIs.

However, Adobe is making its second preview release of "Gala" H.264 hardware decoding available for download for users who want to try it out.

The new H.264 hardware acceleration will enable new Flash videos encoded using H.264 to play more efficiently on Mac hardware, as QuickTime X already does for raw, non-Flash H.264 video for users with modern Macs (equipped with NVIDIA 9400M or better graphics) and Snow Leopard.

Mobile beta for Android

A second beta release for Android 2.2 was also released, along with the claim by Adobe that more than 250 million smartphones would be able to run Flash Player by 2012, also phrased as 53% of the 300 million smartphones it expects to be sold two years from now.

Adobe also said it plans to bring Flash Player to HP's Palm OS, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, Nokia's Symbian OS, and RIM's BlackBerry OS at some point in the future. Apple has passed on supporting a version of Flash Player for its iOS devices, with the company's chief executive Steve Jobs saying recently that Adobe failed to ever demonstrate a version of Flash Player that could perform well enough to include on the iPhone.