If you’re scratching your head because you’re getting a feeling of déjà vu, let me explain. In March 2012, Adobe Flash Player 11.2 was released, and the Windows version included automatic updater options. This is different. We’re talking about using said feature for beta releases, which Adobe says are installed by some 1.1 million testers.
Via the background update mechanism in Flash Player, Adobe will now seamlessly push updates to its beta users so they can quickly use, test, and provide feedback for the latest release. The change also allows Adobe to consolidate its private and public beta programs into a single public beta, since everyone is going to be getting the latest beta build.
If there will be faster betas, it’s fair to expect faster final releases as well, but unfortunately, unlike Google for Chrome and Mozilla for Firefox, Adobe has not committed to a schedule for its rapid release cycle. The company merely emphasized the advantages of employing one:
We believe moving to the rapid approach is going to allow us to test Flash Player under different configurations and help us get early feedback from our customers; which ultimately will improve the user experience and drastically improve the Flash Player and AIR robustness and increase product stability.
You can jump on the bandwagon by downloading the first Adobe Flash Player 11.5 beta for Windows and Mac OS X, as well as subscribing to the automatic update feature. Here’s what’s new in version 11.5:
- Shared ByteArray support for ActionScript Workers enables developers to share memory between multiple workers.
- Debug stack trace in release builds of Flash Player enables developers to display stack trace info in release and debug builds.
Last but not least, Adobe noted it will no longer be posting beta updates on its private beta forum; the company is switching to using Twitter. The forum will still be used, however, to discuss the betas.
Update on September 27: Adobe got back to let me know that betas will typically be pushed twice a week, and possibley more frequently if necessary. As for the final versions of Flash, Adobe doesn’t expect a change in their frequency. “This Rapid Release cycle will impact the frequency and update mechanism of the beta releases only,” an Adobe spokesperson told The Next Web in a statement.
Image credit: Sachin Ghodke