Google Includes Adobe Flash In Chrome Browser


Adobe and Google have worked together to integrate the Flash Player with Google’s Chrome web browser

Despite it not being Steve Jobs’s favourite technology, Adobe has partnered up with Google in order to integrate its Flash Player with Google’s Chrome browser.

On 30 March the two companies announced that Google had released an initial integration of the Flash Player with Chrome to its developer channel. The first release consists of an integrated Adobe Flash Player plug-in and a basic plug-in manager.

In a blog post about the new integration, Ben Galbraith, co-founder of Ajaxian, said:

“While this doesn’t change the game for developers – it won’t materially impact Flash market share – it certainly provides a much more pleasant integration for users who will no longer need to think about updating Flash as a separate process [from] updating their browsers. (And since Chrome auto-updates, it’s blissful upgrading indeed.)”

In addition to Flash integration for Chrome, Google has teamed up with Adobe and Mozilla to deliver an API “that can provide a better way for all web browsers and plug-ins to interact with each other,” Paul Betlem, Adobe senior director of Flash Player engineering, said in a blog post. “While the current NPAPI [Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface] has served the industry well, it lacks the flexibility and power to support the pace of innovation we see ahead,” he said.

According to Betlem, the new API, codenamed Pepper, will provide additional support, including:

  • The API will be operating system- and browser-neutral, minimising the chance of inconsistent behaviour across platforms.
  • The new API is being designed with the flexibility to allow plug-ins to more tightly integrate with host browsers.
  • The new plug-in API will provide performance benefits since the host browser will be able to directly share more information about its current state.
  • The tighter integration provided by the API can allow for a more secure browsing experience as it will be easier to unify security models and collaborate on security techniques, such as sandboxing.

In a separate post, Linus Upson, vice president of engineering at Google, said:

“Improving the traditional browser plug-in model will make it possible for plug-ins to be just as fast, stable, and secure as the browser’s HTML and JavaScript engines. Over time this will enable HTML, Flash, and other plug-ins to be used together more seamlessly in rendering and scripting.”

“These improvements will encourage innovation in both the HTML and plug-in landscapes, improving the web experience for users and developers alike.”

Of the Pepper platform, Galbraith said, “At first glance it seems to embrace about the right set of trade-offs.”

Though the three companies are currently working on Pepper, they gave no timeline for delivery. The project is listed as “under consideration” on Mozilla wiki page.

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