Whether you think Adobe Flash for mobile is good probably comes down to whether you use iOS or Android. If you’re the latter, Adobe is rolling out the latest version of Flash shortly. If you’re the former, there’s nothing to see here.
Even if you think Apple is playing a childish game with the ‘banning’ of Adobe Flash on iPhone/iPad, it is fair to say that Adobe Flash can slow down your smartphone and drain your battery quicker than normal. So, in some respects, Steve Jobs had a point.
For example, the Motorola Milestone finally got the official update to Android 2.2 this week, making good on the promise that it was ‘Flash Ready’. However, running at only 550MHz (for those who don’t fancy overclocking) means the experience isn’t great. For example, BBC iPlayer stumbles along, dropping frames as it goes, for a very subpar experience. But, in case you think that’s an extreme example – it can still slow things down on newer models like the HTC Incredible S.
Adobe is aware of the limitations of its first release and will be releasing an improved Flash Player 10.2 on March 18th, for Android users running 2.2 and 2.3 that have a device that matches the minimum requirements (so, the Milestone may not be included second time around). It will also take advantage of the latest models with multi-core processors and/or improved GPUs (Graphics Processing Units), such as the Motorola ATRIX and LG’s Optimus 2X.
Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) OS users will also get Flash Player 10.2 but in beta form, in conjunction with the roll-out of Android 3.0.1 that ships on the same day. Adobe has listed the new features for Honeycomb users below:
Hardware accelerated video presentation for H.264 (Android 3.0.1+ only)
Flash Player 10.2 leverages the Stage Video rendering pipeline to enable users of Android 3.0 tablets, like the MOTOROLA XOOM¢, to enjoy smooth playback of high-definition Flash video content on the web. Users will experience reduced CPU usage and higher frame rates for existing H.264 video content.
Deeper integration with the Android browser rendering engine (Android 3.0.1+ only)
Deeper integration of Flash Player and the enhanced Android 3.0 browser delivers faster and better rendering of rich, interactive web content resulting in a browsing experience similar to the desktop.
Flash Player can now render content as part of the web page along with other components such as HTML, images and gif animation. As a result, users will experience:
- Improved scrolling of web pages;
- Uncompromised viewing of rich, immersive content in the way intended by the page designer, including support for instances where HTML and other web content is composited over Flash Player rendered content. Flash Player rendered content will continue to be placed in a separate window on top of HTML in the Android 2.2 and 2.3 browsers, as these browsers do not support the new Android 3.0 browser rendering model.