Flash for Android 3
Adobe Flash 10.2 will be coming to Android 3.0 devices via the Android Market and OTA on March 18, 2011. The initial version will be a public beta, which means there are likely to be some performance issues and temporary bugs.
Adobe originally promised full Flash support for the recently released Motorola Xoom however admitted publicly that the support would not be available for the official device launch but would in fact come later, which means that until now, the Xoom and its users have been without official Flash support.
However keeping to their word, Adobe has plans to release Flash 10.2 for select Android 2.2 Froyo smartphones (Motorola Atrix 4G), and Android 2.3 Gingerbread devices (Samsung Nexus-S). Of course all listed devices which will inherit Flash support include the necessary minimum specifications for running the application. As for the aforementioned Motorola Xoom Flash support, the related download will be available OTA on the same release date.
Adobe claims that their latest version of Flash will provide “performance improvements designed to take advantage of the current generation of multi-core, GPU-enabled processors to deliver Flash videos, games and other interactive web content on the latest smartphones and tablets.” Developers also further state that version 10.2 will allow a “more optimised experience” for users on a touch screen device. Adobe has redesigned the Actionscript API for software keyboards allowing for more widescale device support and an overall ease of use.
Flash player 10.2 will also include hardware acceleration support for H.264 format videos which will take the work load of the processor and allow for higher frame rates and better performance during playback.
Flash 10.2 will also provide better overall integration with the stock Android browser which will in turn make for better page scrolling and faster loading times. The stock browser will indeed now function with Flash based content however Adobe has stated that flash videos will play in another window instead of directly in the browser.
All of this news is a welcome addition for Android 2.2 and earlier version users who noticed performance issues when using or viewing flash based content. Sadly the update will only be available for devices that support Android 3.0 (and select few 2.2 devices) which leaves devices on earlier Android versions in the dark. This is indeed unwelcome news for users with Android 2.2 internet tablets and smartphones that have been left out of the loop.
The latest update will be pre-installed on upcoming tablets and smartphone devices that have yet to release. Which means if you’re planning on buying that new phone, or have your eyes set on an Android 3.0 internet tablet; the update should be installed by the time you get your hands on it.
As a side note, all these updates to Adobe’s flash software platform bring one question to mind. Are Apple’s claims that Flash is a “battery and performance hog” still relevant? Or are the issues that Apple developers have with Flash slowly fading with each update? Will we soon see Flash content supported and integrated with Apple devices?
Flash for Android 3
Do you currently use an Android 2.2 or 3.0 device? What device do you use, and will it be supported by the latest update? If yes, or no, please feel free to explain how you feel about being included/excluded. Will you be purchasing the Motorola Xoom? Are you looking forward to the added Flash support? Please join the discussion and answer some of these questions in this forum thread.