Flash was a product named SmartSketch by futurewave was a vector drawing application for pen computers running the PenPoint OS. In 1995, FutureWave modified SmartSketch by adding frame-by-frame animation features and released product as FutureSplash Animator on Macintosh and PC.
In November 1996, FutureSplash was acquired by Macromedia, and Macromedia re-branded and released FutureSplash Animator as Macromedia Flash 1.0. In 2000, the first major version of ActionScript was developed, and released with Flash 5. Actionscript 2.0 was released with Flash MX 2004 and supported object-oriented programming, improved UI components, and other advanced programming features. The last version of Flash released by Macromedia was Flash 8, which focused on graphical upgrades such as filters (blur, drop shadow, etc.).
As of 2005, more computers worldwide had the Flash Player installed than any other Web media format, including Java, QuickTime, RealNetworks and Windows Media Player.
Macromedia was acquired by Adobe Systems in 2005, and the entire Macromedia product line including Flash, Dreamweaver, Director/Shockwave and Authorware is now handled by Adobe.
In 2007, Adobe released Adobe Flash CS3 Professional, the first version released under Adobe, and the ninth major version of Flash. In 2008, Adobe released the historic tenth version of Flash, Adobe Flash CS4. Flash 10 improved animation capabilities within the Flash editor, adding a motion editor panel (similar to Adobe After Effects), inverse kinematics (bones), basic 3D object animation, object-based animation.
Also in 2008, Adobe released the first version of Adobe Integrated Runtime (later re-branded as Adobe AIR), a runtime engine that replaced Flash Player, and provided additional capabilities to the ActionScript 3.0 language to build desktop and mobile applications.
In 2011, Adobe Flash Player 11 was released, and with it the first version of Stage3D, allowing for GPU-accelerated 3D rendering for Flash applications and games.
Adobe further improved 3D capabilities from 2011 to 2013, adding support for 3D rendering on Android and iOS platforms, alpha-channels, compressed textures.
In 2014, Adobe AIR reached a milestone when over 100,000 unique applications were built on AIR, and over 1 billion installations of the same were logged from users across the world (May 2014).
Adobe AIR was voted as the Best Mobile Application Development product at the Consumer Electronics Show for two consecutive years (CES 2014 and CES 2015).
In 2016, Adobe changed Flash’s name to Adobe Animate. This was because the Flash Player had a bad reputation, and they wanted to seperate it.
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