Trending December 2023 # Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Beta And Air 2 Released # Suggested January 2024 # Top 21 Popular

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Adobe have pushed their Flash Player 10.1 Beta out of the door, together with Adobe AIR 2, with the Windows version of the new Flash runtime supporting H.264 hardware acceleration.  The Mac and Linux 10.1 prereleases are yet to support that, and so far there’s no sign of a smartphone release as Adobe promised back in October; Adobe have confirmed, though, that the webOS beta for the Palm Pre and Pixi will appear sometime this year.

Probably the most significant aspect of the new Flash Player 10.1 Beta is that netbooks using NVIDIA’s Ion GPU will now be able to use that video hardware to decode H.264 content.  Previously such machines did well in terms of local HD content playback but less impressively for streaming content; now full-screen YouTube HD videos should be far more watchable.

There’s also multitouch support for compatible applications (and assuming you have multitouch-capable hardware, of course).  Both Flash Player 10.1 Beta and Adobe AIR 2 can be downloaded from Abobe Labs.

Press Release:

Adobe AIR 2 and Flash Player 10.1 Beta Software Now Available

New Flash Platform Runtimes Set Stage for Contextual Applications Across Devices

November 17, 2009 12:01 AM Eastern Time–Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced that beta versions of Adobe® AIR® 2 and Adobe Flash® Player 10.1 software are now available from Adobe Labs for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. Flash Player 10.1 is also available for x86-based netbooks, and expected to be available across a broad spectrum of smartphones and other Internet-connected devices in 2010. Adobe AIR 2 and Flash Player 10.1 are easily updateable across all supported platforms to help ensure rapid adoption of new innovations that move the Web forward.

“With the beta availability of Adobe AIR 2 and Flash Player 10.1 today, we are taking an important step toward realizing the Open Screen Project vision to enable rich Internet experiences across any device, anywhere”

Adobe AIR 2 builds on the success of AIR 1.0, which has been installed on more than 200 million desktop computers and adopted across industries by leading companies, such as Atlantic Records, DIRECTV, FedEx, The New York Times Company and chúng tôi With AIR 2, developers can create more reliable and feature-rich applications in the desktop context, and they can easily add AIR 2 functionality to update current AIR 1.0 applications. New AIR 2 features include enhanced support for mass storage devices and native application processes, as well as peer-to-peer and UDP networking.

Adobe AIR and Flash Player Deliver Web Applications in Multiple Contexts

Using the Adobe Flash Platform, millions of designers and developers create rich Web content, videos and applications that deploy in the browser using Adobe Flash Player, and beyond the constraints of the browser with Adobe AIR. Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2 enable developers and designers to use the same code, assets, frameworks, tools and services to create the most expressive applications, content and video for the browser and the desktop today, as well as mobile platforms in the future.

Multi-touch and “Gestures” Support on Touch Screens

Adobe AIR 2 and Flash Player 10.1 also bring innovations and optimizations from mobile devices to the desktop. For example, designers and developers can now create entirely new types of applications that use multi-touch points and gestures on touch screen devices. Instead of using a mouse, users touch the screen to interact with content and applications.


David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president, Adobe Platform Business Unit

“With the beta availability of Adobe AIR 2 and Flash Player 10.1 today, we are taking an important step toward realizing the Open Screen Project vision to enable rich Internet experiences across any device, anywhere,” said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president, Platform Business Unit at Adobe. “Content creators will provide multi-screen experiences with uncompromised Web browsing and standalone applications across desktops and netbooks, and in the near future across a wide range of mobile devices.”


“With the HP TouchSmart PC, we’re enhancing how people interact with their favorite sites and applications,” said Satjiv S. Chahil, senior vice president, Worldwide Marketing, Personal Systems Group, HP. “Now that developers can optimize Flash Player and Adobe AIR content for touch screens with multi-touch, the HP TouchSmart will be an even more compelling platform for developers to build truly distinctive touch-interactive experiences. HP and its partners have created a number of touch-centric programs such as the Time 100 and U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges using Adobe AIR. HP will continue to innovate with touch-focused solutions based on Adobe products.”


“As a user experience design and development agency, we’re focused on providing the most effective experiences on all devices users interact with,” said RJ Owen, senior software architect at EffectiveUI. “The ability to incorporate new features like microphone access or accelerometer input allows Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2 to deliver truly immersive content and apps on the desktop, in the browser and on mobile devices.”

Adobe AIR 2 and Flash Player 10.1 Availability

Adobe AIR 2 beta is offered for Windows 7, Windows Vista®, Windows® XP, Windows Server® 2003, Mac OS X and Linux® operating systems.

Flash Player 10.1 is expected to be available across a broad spectrum of smartphones and other Internet-connected devices in 2010.

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Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Now Available For Mobile Platform Partners

Adobe Flash Player 10.1 Now Available for Mobile Platform Partners

One of the bigger features of the upcoming Android release, 2.2 (better known as Froyo), is the fact that there’s integrated Flash Player. While many think that Flash isn’t optimized for proper mobile use, Adobe begs to differ, as they point out in the first paragraph of their press release that 10.0 for mobile devices has been redesigned from the ground up, with performance in mind, which also includes mobile-specific features. It’s already available on desktop clients, like Linux, PC, and Mac, but we’re all waiting for the official release on mobile devices. Now that we have the official announcement from Adobe, 35 companies ready to jump on board, we don’t expect it will be much longer to wait.

Of course, the argument is this: while Flash lets you display the “full web,” does it do with by sacrificing the speed and performance of your mobile device? While we’ve seen Flash on other devices, like from HTC and Nokia, these have all been variations of Flash Lite. This time around, we’re getting the full experience, optimized for the mobile platform. Therefore, there’s still just as many questions lingering about its ability to provide the full web, but at the same time keep our devices working in a proper fashion.

Michael Gartenberg, a constant columnist here at SlashGear, even mentioned his usage of Adobe’s Flash Player 10.1 on his Nexus One, which he updated to Froyo, and subsequently began using the pre-releases of the Flash Player as they were released. As he said, in his column “Flash Goes Mobile — First Take”:

“Overall, my experience with Flash on Android was pretty good. Sites that did use Flash loaded relatively quickly and effortlessly. It was fun to surf to a site and not get an error message because Flash was being used,” said Michael Gartenberg in his blog posting. “”Performance worked well and sites loaded quickly and fairly complex animations and user experiences worked quickly and looked good. Adobe has done a good job making the case that Flash is viable for mobile.” – Michael Gartenberg, Partner, Altimeter Group.

As Adobe stresses, Flash Player 10.1 has been redesigned and optimized for mobile. It supports accelerometers, and features something called “Smart Zooming.” With this latter feature, you’ll be able to scale the Flash content to full screen, if that’s how you’d prefer to view it. Above all, 101. should make efficient use of the CPU on your mobile device, as well as optimize the battery life. Basically, your phone shouldn’t slow down, nor should your battery die 15 minutes after you start browsing the Internet on your device.

Probably one of the better features, though, is “Smart Rendering.” Designed to make sure that the Flash content on any particular site doesn’t start running until it’s actually on the screen means a lot less stress on the CPU, as well as the battery consumption. Other features, like “Sleep Mode,” means that when you’re screen goes dark, Flash Player will automatically slow down.

As for Android-based devices expected to get Android 2.2 support, and therefore official candidacy to Flash Player 10.1, where what you’re looking at: DROID by Motorola, Dell Streak, Google Nexus One,

Motorola MILESTONE, HTC Evo, HTC Incredible, HTC Desire, Samsung Galaxy S and others. Sure, all of these handsets were pretty much shoe-ins for the update, but that doesn’t answer the really important question: when’s the update coming? That won’t get answered here, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll be disappointed.

There are 35 companies, distributed throughout the mobile universe in one way or another, tagging along with Adobe in their effort to give owners the full Internet, in every shape and form. Companies like Turner Broadcasting, Time Warner, Sony Pictures, HBO, Viacom, USA Network, Dell, Samsung, HTC, Google, and RIM. All of these companies are going to release their own information about their usage of Flash Player 10.1, and there’s plenty of companies in the list that we’re, frankly, looking forward to seeing the result of the platform, together with their ideas.

So, when’s it officially coming? Well, we thought we might get a cheat-sheet as to when Google might officially release Froyo, but that’s not the case. As the press release puts it, we have to wait for the official release of Froyo before we’ll be able to download the Flash Player 10.1 over the air. If you’ve got an Android 2.2-based device, and once it officially launches, you’ll be able to find 10.1 sitting in the Android Market, waiting right there for you. In the mean time though, we’d love to hear from all the Nexus One owners out there running a release of Android 2.2, and Flash Player 10.1. How is it working for you?

Press Release:

HBO, Viacom, Turner, Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, CBS Interactive, USA Network and

Others Ready Flash Content for Mobile

SAN FRANCISCO, CA. — June 22, 2010 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq: ADBE) today announced

the release of Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1 to mobile platform partners. Redesigned from the ground up with new

performance and mobile specific features, Flash Player 10.1 is the first release that brings the full web across

desktops and devices. Mobile users will now be able to experience millions of sites with rich applications and

content inside the browser including games, animations, rich Internet applications (RIAs), data presentations and

visualizations, ecommerce, music, video, audio and more.

Already the top free app on Android™ Market today, Flash Player 10.1 will be available as a final production

release for smartphones and tablets once users are able to upgrade to Android 2.2 “Froyo.” Devices supporting

“Froyo” and Flash Player 10.1 are expected to include the DROID by Motorola, Dell Streak, Google Nexus One,

Motorola MILESTONE, HTC Evo, HTC Incredible, HTC Desire, Samsung Galaxy S and others. Flash Player 10.1

was also released to mobile platform partners to be supported on devices based on Android, BlackBerry, webOS,

Windows Phone 7 Series, LiMo, MeeGo and Symbian OS, and is expected to be made available via over-the-air

“We are thrilled that more than three million Flash designers and developers are now able to unleash their

creativity on the world of smartphones, tablets, netbooks, televisions and other consumer electronics,” said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president, Platform Business at Adobe. “The combined power of the

leading rich media technology platform with millions of passionate creatives is sure to impact the world in ways we haven’t even imagined yet.”

Broad Partner Support

Device and technology partners including ARM, Motorola, Dell, RIM, Samsung, Google, HTC, NVIDIA,

Qualcomm, Intel, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Brightcove and others announced more specifics around their

support for Flash Player 10.1 today. Major content publishers including Viacom, HBO, Msnbc Digital Network,

Turner, USA Network, Photobucket, Kongregate, Nickelodeon, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, CBS Interactive,

South Park Studios, Armor Games, chúng tôi Mochi Media, Blitz, Odopod, JustinTV, AgencyNet, Roundarch,

RAIN and many others have also started to optimize Flash content to deliver the best possible experience within the context of smaller screens, which includes larger buttons for interactions, layout adjustments for mobile

screens and more.

For details visit [insert Quote Page URL] or chúng tôi Adobe’s showcase site for optimized Flash content. For

New High Performance Features

Completely redesigned and optimized for mobile, Flash Player 10.1 delivers new interaction methods with support

for mobile-specific input models. Support for accelerometer allows users to view Flash content in landscape and

portrait mode. With Smart Zooming, users can scale content to full screen mode delivering immersive application like experiences from a web page. Performance optimization work with virtually all major mobile silicon and

platform vendors makes efficient use of CPU and battery performance.

The new Smart Rendering feature ensures that Flash content is running only when it becomes visible on the

screen further reducing CPU and battery consumption. With Sleep Mode, Flash Player automatically slows down

when the device transitions into screen saver mode. Advanced Out-of-Memory Management allows the player to

effectively handle non-optimized content that consumes excessive resources, while automatic memory reduction

decreases content usage of RAM by up to 50 percent. Flash Player pauses automatically when events occur such as incoming phone calls or switching from the browser to other device functions. Once users switch back to the browser, Flash Player resumes where it paused.

Industry Analyst Feedback

“Although it is labeled a dot release, Flash Player 10.1 is a significant update that includes a number of new

performance and mobile specific features,” said Al Hilwa, program director of the Application Development

Program at IDC. “This allows consumers to see a much bigger part of the web and allows developers to bring

their Flash platform skills to a much bigger swath of devices.”

“For the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to test an Android Froyo device loaded with a beta of Flash

Player 10.1,” said Ben Bajarin, principal analyst at Creative Strategies. “The overall experience and performance

of Flash has been impressive. Mobile users now have access to full web pages with rich Flash content on millions

of sites. With the new mobile specific features, developers also have an important opportunity to help shape the

way Web content, games, touch capabilities and more are presented across platforms and devices as Froyo and

other platforms deliver full Flash support.”

Additional Resources

To watch demo videos of Flash Player 10.1 running across devices, including smartphones and tablets, visit


Flash Player 10.1 is expected to be available as a final production release for devices once users are able to

upgrade to Android 2.2 “Froyo.” Once upgraded, smartphones, tablets and other devices can be updated with

updates and on-device app catalogs such as Android Market, Adobe Labs and other venues. The upgrade

mechanism will vary by device and device manufacturer. The desktop version of Flash Player 10.1 for Windows,

How To Remove Adobe Flash From Your Mac

The succession of vulnerabilities found in Adobe’s Flash Player shows no signs of dying down: not a month goes by without Adobe releasing another yet emergency update for Flash to patch a bunch of newly discovered vulnerabilities (measuring in the dozens).

Some of them can be pretty nasty as they introduce new attack vectors for spyware, ransomware, trojans and other malicious applications that you don’t want anywhere near your computer.

A few years ago, Flash Player was impossible to avoid because a bulk of web video was encoded in Adobe’s proprietary Flash format, but not anymore: YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and many other popular web services now use HTML5-based video players that work in any modern browser.

While Apple does block older, vulnerable versions of Flash in the Safari browser on macOS, you should do yourself a favor and remove Flash Player from your Mac using step-by-step instructions provided in this tutorial.

How to remove Adobe Flash from your Mac

1) Navigate to the /Applications/Utilities/ folder on your Mac and launch the Adobe Flash Player Install Manager app.

Tip: If you don’t see the app and are positive that Flash Player is in fact installed on your Mac, download the Adobe Flash Player uninstaller from Adobe’s website.

Flash Player is now being uninstalled from this Mac. You cannot cancel the uninstaller at this point. Don’t restart or turn off your computer until the uninstaller finishes.

And that’s all there’s to it, folks!

Living in a Flash-free world!

Congratulations, your Mac is now Flash-free and your computer is no longer prone to Flash vulnerabilities—even if you try to access Flash content in a browser—as long as you don’t reinstall Flash Player.

Don’t you shed a tear—you’ll be better off without Flash altogether!

Verifying that Flash Player uninstallation is complete

After running the uninstaller, your system should be free of Flash Player and its associated web plug-in. To verify that Flash uninstallation has been completed successfully, first restart your Mac by choosing Restart in the Apple menu.

Then, open your browser and check the status of Flash Player on Adobe’s website. If Flash Player is no longer installed on this Mac, the page will produce an error message.

Accessing Flash content without Flash Player

As we mentioned, you can watch virtually any video on the web without needing Flash Player.

In moving away from Flash-encoded video, web developers have embraced HTML5 video en masse. For starters, HTML5-based video works in any modern web browser without needing a dedicated plug-in.

With that in mind, if you stumble upon a piece of Flash content on the web that you want to view but hate the idea of re-installing Flash Player, simply use Google Chrome for these purposes. Google’s browser has built-in Flash Player, but it’s sandboxed to prevent Flash vulnerabilities from affecting the rest of your system.

macOS blocks outdated Flash versions

Out-of-date versions of Adobe Flash Player that do not include the latest security updates are automatically disabled in Safari by macOS to help keep your Mac secure and help limit exposure to potential zero day exploits from web plug-in enabled content.

If you see the message “Blocked plug-in,” “Flash Security Alert” or “Flash out-of-date” when attempting to view Flash content in Safari, that’s Apple warning you that you’re using an out-of-date version of the Adobe Flash Player plug-in on your computer.

More Mac tips? Browse our tutorials archive.

Need help? Ask iDB!

If you found this how-to helpful, drop us a line below and share your own tips.

How To Enable Flash Player In Google Chrome

Adobe’s Flash Player has been on the way out for a while now. The once-prominent video player has been largely rendered obsolete due to its limited capabilities at handling more complex animations, not to mention security issues. It will no longer work with Google Chrome starting in 2023 and is disabled by default. Until 2023, however, you can still re-enable Flash Player in Chrome.

Here’s how.

Note: You should only enable Flash Player on websites that you trust and websites that are otherwise secure. You can read our guide on how to determine if a website is legit and safe to use.

With that out of the way, here’s how to enable Flash Player on Chrome.

First, go to the website where you want to enable Flash Player. If the website is secure, it should have a padlock icon in the address bar. If a site doesn’t have this, then it’s not secure, and you definitely shouldn’t be enabling Flash on it.

Go through this same process for every site where you want to run Flash Player.

Want to do more with Chrome? Here’s our list of the best Chrome Flags to improve your browsing. Or see our list of the best Chrome extensions.

Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

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Ipad Air 2 Vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet Comparison

Our Verdict

Apple and Sony have both designed and built brilliant tablets here, and it’s a tough decision between the two. The Xperia Z4 Tablet has some obvious bonus points thanks to its waterproof nature, its better screen, its lighter weight, its battery life and its good front-facing camera, but we’re not as keen on the overall design of the tablet, and if £499 does turn out to be the starting price it’s a bit on the expensive side.

Sony didn’t launch a new smartphone at MWC 2023 in Barcelona this year, but it did unveil a new iPad Air 2 rival in the form of the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet. Here, we put the two flagship tablets head-to-head to find out how they compare in our iPad Air 2 vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet comparison article.  Also see: Best new tablets coming in 2023.

In depth: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet hands-on review

iPad Air 2 vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Price & availability

First things first, let’s take a look at how much these tablets will cost you, and how you can go about buying one.

We were surprised by the high price of the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet. We had predicted a £399 price tag, but Sony has now revealed that it’ll cost £499 when it becomes available to buy in June.

The iPad Air 2 is already available to buy, after being unveiled in October 2014. It starts at £399 for the 16GB WiFi-only model, or £499 for the 16GB WiFi+ Cellular model. Below is the full set of prices:

So far, £499 is the price Sony has revealed for the WiFi-only model with 32GB of space and it comes with a keyboard, so it’s possible that you’ll be able to pick up the Xperia Z4 Tablet at a lower price without the keyboard. The 4G version is £579 with the keyboard.

You’ll also like: Best tablets 2023

iPad Air 2 vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Design & build

The iPad Air 2 and Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet are quite different to look at. The iPad Air 2 is smaller with a 9.7in screen, while the Xperia Z4 Tablet has a 10.1in display. The latter is a square, blocky-looking device compared with the iPad Air’s softer, more rounded design.

The new Xperia Z4 Tablet is even thinner than its predecessor, the Xperia Z2 Tablet, at 6.1mm compared with 6.4mm. The same goes for the iPad Air 2, which matches the 6.1mm of the new Sony tablet, reduced from the 7.5mm of the original iPad Air. So both of these tablets are exceptionally thin.

They’re light, too. The WiFi model of the Xperia Z4 Tablet is 392g, while the 4G LTE model is 396g. That’s actually a fair bit lighter than the iPad Air 2, which is an already light 437-444g depending on the model. Both are a delight to hold, but it’s particularly impressive that Sony has managed to make the Xperia Z4 Tablet so light, especially considering its display is bigger than the iPad Air 2’s.

The Sony tablet also trumps Apple’s when it comes to durability. It’s waterproof up to the highest rating available: IP68. The headphone port and microUSB ports don’t even need covers to make the device waterproof, so feel free to use the Xperia Z4 Tablet in the bath or by the poolside without a worry.

You won’t want to do that with the iPad Air 2, which certainly isn’t waterproof.

The iPad Air 2 is undoubtedly more stylish, though, with a brushed aluminium, unibody chassis, available in Gold, Silver and Slate Grey.

There are pros and cons to both of these tablet’s designs, so it could come down to a choice between practicality and style.

iPad Air 2 vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Hardware

Taking a closer look at the screen on the Xperia Z4 Tablet, you’ll find a 10.1in display with a 2560×1600 resolution, which equates to an impressive 299ppi. That beats the iPad Air 2’s 264ppi, 9.7in display.

Inside the Sony tablet is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, which is both octa-core and 64-bit. It’s paired with 3GB RAM, 32GB of storage and a microSD card slot for adding up to 128GB more.

The iPad Air 2, on the other hand, boasts Apple’s own 64-bit A8X processor and M8X co-processor, paired with 1GB of RAM and a choice between 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of internal storage. It lacks the microSD card slot found on the Xperia Z4 Tablet, though, so you’ll need to decide how much storage you think you’ll need when you buy it.

We’ll bring you more detailed information about how these two tablets compare in terms of speed and graphics performance as soon as we get the Xperia Z4 Tablet back to our labs for benchmarking.

Connectivity-wise, you’ll find 11ac WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1 and MHL 3.0, as well as an optional 4G LTE model for the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet.

The iPad Air 2, meanwhile, also sports 11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, optional 4G connectivity is available too. But there’s no NFC in the iPad Air 2.

Sony’s new tablet has High-Res audio, too, with front-facing stereo speakers, digital noise cancelling support, automatic headphone compensation and a new LDAC codec which supposedly transmits data three times more efficiently than Bluetooth.

The iPad Air’s additional feature that the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet lacks is the TouchID fingerprint sensor, housed beneath the Home button. You can use it to unlock the tablet, unlock certain apps and also use Apple Pay online.

We’ve not yet been able to test this claim, but Sony suggests that you can expect a whopping 17 hours of video playback from the Xperia Z4 Tablet’s 6000mAh battery.

That’s compared with Apple’s 10 hours for the iPad Air 2, so is particularly impressive.

iPad Air 2 vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Cameras

On the rear of the Xperia is an 8.1Mp camera, which uses Sony’s Exmor RS sensor. The front-facing camera is a 5.1Mp camera with a wide angle lens, which will allow you to get more people in the frame.

On the iPad Air 2, you’ll find an 8Mp iSight camera on the rear, which we’ve found to be quite impressive even though we think using a tablet as a camera is a  major no-no. The front-facing camera is 1.2Mp but does the trick for FaceTime calls, for example.

iPad Air 2 vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Software

Not everything is as black and white when it comes to software, as it’s often more about opinions than it is about facts. You probably already know whether you prefer Android or iOS, and there are arguments for and against both operating systems.

The iPad Air 2, of course, runs Apple’s iOS 8. You’ll get Apple’s apps and services including FaceTime, iMessage, iCloud, Continuity between your other Apple devices including Macs, access to the enormous iOS App Store, iBookstore, Newsstand and more.

The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is instead running Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google’s latest version of its operating system. Sony has added its own interface, though it’s not much different from stock Android aside from the pre-loaded Sony apps such as Walkman, Album, PlayStation and Lifelog.

There’s also PS4 Remote Play, which lets you play PlayStation 4 games on the device from the console over the same WiFi network.

Specs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Specs

Android 5.0 Lollipop

10.1in IPS Triluminos screen, 2560×1600, 300ppi, 500cd/m2

Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 64-bit


32GB internal storage, microSD card slot (up to 128GB)

8.1Mp rear camera with Exmor RS

5.1Mp wide angle front camera

MHL 3.0

Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac


Bluetooth 4.1

Nano-SIM (LTE model)

6000 mAh battery


392g (Wi-Fi), 396g (LTE)

Black, white

Difference Between Alpha Thalassemia And Beta Thalassemia

Thalassemia is a group of inherited blood disorders that affect the production of hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood. It is caused by mutations in the genes that control the production of hemoglobin. There are two main types of thalassemia: alpha thalassemia and beta thalassemia. Although they share similar symptoms, they are caused by different genetic mutations and have different degrees of severity.

What is Alpha Thalassemia?

Alpha thalassemia is the condition where there is a reduced formation of alpha polypeptide chains because of an absence of alpha genes. There are two forms of alpha thalassemia depending on what genes are missing. Alpha + is when only one gene is missing from chromosome 16, while alpha 0 is when both genes are lacking from the same chromosome.

Symptoms − In some cases, there may be no symptoms and a person can be a carrier. This is often the situation where it is the alpha + form, and only one allele is affected. In other cases, where two alleles are missing, there are some symptoms such as smaller than normal red blood cells (microcytic anemia). In this case, there will be symptoms but they will not be too severe. If three of four alleles are missing then symptoms can be very bad and may include paleness, fatigue, swollen spleen, and jaundice. Such people may develop hemolytic anemia. If all four genes are affected a fetus will have Bart’s hydrops fetalis, and will not survive.

Diagnosis − The diagnosis is based on the examination of a smear of blood that shows very small red blood cells. Fetal hemoglobin and hemoglobin A2 is usually normal in alpha thalassemia. Genetic testing can show deletions of alleles and electrophoresis of hemoglobin can show the condition as well. Fetal tissue can also be removed to test for the condition.

Causes and Risk Factors − The condition is inherited and is due to a genetic mutation of the alpha genes that are responsible for making alpha polypeptide chains. This condition is more common in people who are of Southeast Asian, African descent, or are from the Mediterranean regions of Cyprus and Greece.

Prevention and Treatment − Genetic screening and counseling can help detect if there are genetic anomalies. Measuring hemoglobin levels in a couple may also help to show if they are carrying an alpha gene mutation. Sometimes a stem cell transplant while the fetus is in utero can cure them, or else the patient will need lifelong transfusions and potentially chelation therapy to remove excess iron from the blood. If the spleen becomes enlarged this may need to be surgically removed.

What is Beta Thalassemia?

Beta thalassemia is where there is a reduced formation of beta polypeptide chains because of mutations in the beta globin genes that occur on chromosome 11. There are two types of beta thalassemia; one type is when only partial loss of function occurs. This is beta + thalassemia. The other type is the complete loss of function, which is beta 0 thalassemia.

Symptoms − The symptoms vary depending on the extent of the damage to the genes. Individuals with few problems with beta globulin production are often silent carriers who show no symptoms. Some people are intermediate and may show some symptoms. Major beta thalassemia (Cooley’s anemia), occurs when there are severe symptoms such as problems with the bone marrow, and severe anemia. Such patients can appear very pale; have jaundice, leg ulcers, enlarged spleens, and even gallstone formation.

Diagnosis − Beta thalassemia is diagnosed by looking for hemolytic anemia by examining a red blood cell smear under the microscope. Testing of hemoglobin can be done and with severe beta thalassemia the hemoglobin would be low, less than 6 g/dL. There would be higher than average fetal hemoglobin and hemoglobin A2 in certain types of beta thalassemia.

Causes and Risk Factors − This is inherited and is due to some type of genetic change (mutation) that has occurred in the beta globin genes. Beta thalassemia is more commonly found in people who are of Southeast Asian, African or Mediterranean descent.

Prevention and Treatment − Genetic screening and hemoglobin testing can indicate if a person is carrying the mutation. Treatment may require blood transfusions, and chelation therapy to remove excess iron due to the transfusions, and in some cases, spleen removal is needed.

Differences: Alpha and Beta Thalassemia

Alpha thalassemia is caused by mutations in the genes that control the production of alpha globin, one of the two types of protein chains that make up hemoglobin. There are four genes that control the production of alpha globin, and each person inherits two copies of these genes, one from each parent. If one or more of these genes is mutated, it can lead to a decrease in the production of alpha globin, resulting in a type of anemia known as alpha thalassemia.

There are four types of alpha thalassemia, depending on the number of alpha globin genes that are mutated. The mildest form is alpha thalassemia silent carrier, which occurs when one alpha globin gene is mutated. People with this form of thalassemia do not usually experience any symptoms and are usually unaware that they carry the gene mutation.

Alpha thalassemia trait occurs when two alpha globin genes are mutated, leading to mild anemia. Hemoglobin H disease occurs when three alpha globin genes are mutated, leading to moderate to severe anemia. People with this form of thalassemia may experience symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, pale skin, and enlargement of the spleen. The most severe form of alpha thalassemia is alpha thalassemia major, which occurs when all four alpha globin genes are mutated, leading to severe anemia and fetal hydrops, a life-threatening condition in which fluid builds up in the fetus’s body.

Beta thalassemia, on the other hand, is caused by mutations in the genes that control the production of beta globin, the other type of protein chain that makes up hemoglobin. There are two genes that control the production of beta globin, and each person inherits one copy of these genes from each parent. If one or both of these genes are mutated, it can lead to a decrease in the production of beta globin, resulting in a type of anemia known as beta thalassemia.

There are two main types of beta thalassemia: “beta thalassemia minor” and “beta thalassemia major”. Beta thalassemia minor occurs when one beta globin gene is mutated, leading to mild anemia. People with this form of thalassemia may experience symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and pale skin. Beta thalassemia major, also known as Cooley’s anemia, occurs when both beta globin genes are mutated, leading to severe anemia and other complications. People with this form of thalassemia may require regular blood transfusions to survive.

The following table highlights the major differences between Alpha Thalassemia and Beta Thalassemia −


Alpha Thalassemia

Beta Thalassemia


Alpha thalassemia is where there is a reduced formation of the alpha polypeptides.

Beta thalassemia is where there is a reduced formation of the beta polypeptides.


In alpha thalassemia there can be no symptoms or in severe cases hemolytic anemia and an enlarged spleen, paleness, jaundice, and fatigue.

In beta thalassemia, there can be no symptoms or in severe cases, there can be issues with the bone marrow as well as problems such as severe anemia, jaundice, gallstones, and enlarged spleens.


Alpha thalassemia is diagnosed by the presence of very small red blood cells in a red blood cell smear; genetic testing and electrophoresis of hemoglobin.

Beta thalassemia is diagnosed by noting hemolytic anemia in a red blood cell smear; hemoglobin testing may indicate higher than average fetal hemoglobin, and hemoglobin chúng tôi lower than normal overall hemoglobin values.


A mutation of one or more of the alpha genes on chromosome 16, causes alpha thalassemia.

A mutation of one or more of the beta globin genes on chromosome 11 causes beta thalassemia.


In summary, alpha thalassemia and beta thalassemia are two types of inherited blood disorders that affect the production of hemoglobin. Alpha thalassemia is caused by mutations in the genes that control the production of alpha globin, while beta thalassemia is caused by mutations in the genes that control the production of beta globin.

Both types of thalassemia can range from mild to severe, depending on the number and type of gene mutations present. Proper diagnosis and treatment are important.

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