Beta builds of Adobe AIR 15 and Flash Player 15 are now available for download and I must say, there are some really nice features in the works. Here’s a few that caught my eye:

Cross promotion of AIR mobile games

This is possibly the feature I’m excited about most. Anyone who has released a mobile app will know the importance of promoting their app to maximise downloads. Well the good news is that Adobe AIR now supports cross promotion of AIR apps. It works by letting you include in-game promotions of games by other developers within your game, while your own app is promoted by others. It’s a great way of driving awareness and downloads of your apps. Adobe’s cross promotion solution will be free and will work on a points system. You earn points by promoting other AIR games.

The ActionScript API looks fairly straightforward and Adobe has released an article detailing how to use it.

It’s currently only available for Android but will be rolled out for iOS soon.

Stage3D “Standard” profile support for iOS and Android

AIR 14 saw the release of Stage3D “Standard” mode, which brought many advanced features to the Flash Runtime. With AIR 15, Stage3D “Standard” mode is now available on mobile. Any iOS and Android devices that support OpenGL ES3 will be able to request and use the “Standard” profile features, including multiple render targets, new texture formats, and AGAL 2.

The iOS Improved Packaging Engine is now default

The improved packaging engine will now be the default when developing iOS apps. This gives significantly faster packaging times compared to the legacy packager. Here’s a quick test I ran when the packager was first made available.

Automatic software fallback with StageVideo

Let’s be honest. When using hardware-accelerated video in Flash and AIR, it’s a pain having to implement your own fallback code for when hardware StageVideo isn’t supported. Thankfully, Flash Player 15 makes that a thing of the past as it now supports a software version of StageVideo that provides automatic fallback to the software version. Note that this is a Flash Player 15 Beta feature, which can be downloaded from here.

Using Stage3D and StageVideo together

Another new feature that I’m really excited about is a new ActionScript API that will allow hardware-accelerated video to be used as a source texture in Stage3D. As most of you will be aware, you can currently only use the Video object when working with Stage3D, which unfortunately isn’t accelerated. The new VideoTexture class will allow direct access to a texture object it sourced from a NetStream or Camera object. Initially this feature will start life off on AIR for Windows, but the intention is to roll it out across Mac and eventually mobile too. You can find out some more detail here.

There are other great features in the beta too, including enhancements to AIR’s gamepad feature for Android. Take a look at the latest release notes for more detail.