Flash is dead? Long live Flash with Molehill 3D API!

Ever since Apple decided to exclude Adobe Flash support on the iPhone (for three years) and on the iPad – the future of Adobe Flash has been debated.

According to Apple CEO Steve Jobs when talking about Adobe during a Town Hall-style meeting with Apple employees in January 2010:

“They are lazy. They have all this potential to do interesting things but they just refuse to do it. They don’t do anything with the approaches that Apple is taking, like Carbon. Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy, he says. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it’s because of Flash. No one will be using Flash, he says. The world is moving to HTML5.”

Well maybe Mr Jobs should read all the buzz about Molehill. According to Adobe:

“Molehill” is the codename for a new set of GPU-accelerated 3D APIs that provide the power needed for delivering advanced 3D experiences using Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR. These new low-level APIs are designed for experienced 3D and 3D engine developers, delivering a flexible API with improved performance.


In English for the rest of us – It turns Adobe Flash into a true 3D platform. Many games developers believe that Molehill will become the de-facto standard for Internet gaming.

With more and more Android phones and tablets on the market like the new Android Honeycomb due for release this year 3D is going to be a big deciding factor when choosing the OS for your phone for games masters. Honeycomb specializes in 3-D acceleration to drive hardcore gaming and snazzy user-interface features. Several manufacturers have already signed up to make Honeycomb-powered tablets.

The social network games market is growing fast and is another area that will undoubtedly benefit from new browser technologies such as Adobe’s Molehill 3D APIs.

Whilst still in BETA adobe claim the 3D APIs will soon become available on many mobile platforms, such as Android and Linux Mobile. They expect to work with partners through the Open Screen Project to enable 3D in Flash Player and AIR on devices.

In the future expect the integration of 3D with Google Maps and Street View and many more 3D augmented reality applications. If Adobe suceeed most internet connected devoces will support GPU-accelerated browser based 3D by 2012.

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Heather Buckley is Director and co-founder of IT and business training providers Silicon Beach Training. Founded in 1999, Silicon Beach Training run public-scheduled training courses in their Brighton Training Centre as well as bespoke on-site courses worldwide. Popular courses include Social Media Training, Photoshop Training and PRINCE2 Training, which has recently been launched in Birmingham. Heather writes on the Silicon Beach Training blog with a focus on IT, Project Management and Social Media as well as offering Photoshop knowledge from her experience as a photographer.