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Adobe limits Flash for Android to 2.1, criticizes Apple

updated 09:15 am EST, Tue February 9, 2010

Most Android phones shut out

Adobe today provided a disappointment for some Android users as it revealed that Flash 10.1 will only be available for phones running Android 2.1 or later. Showing it off in a demo (viewable below), the developer new OS is necessary due to certain software-level access but effectively shuts out the majority of Android phones, most of which are either waiting for upgrades or are unlikely to ever receive the upgrade. Only the Motorola Droid and Nexus One so far carry 2.1.

The company has also narrowed down its Flash 10.1 release window slightly for Android as well as webOS and Windows Mobile, saying it should have browser plugins for all three available within the first half of the year.

As part of the update, Adobe also took time to take a dig at Apple, noting that 80 percent of web video uses Flash and trying to downplay HTML5; a formal standard for video without a plugin is years off, the company claims. It also argues that the relatively slow and crash-prone Mac OS X plugin is due to Apple providing incomplete data for crash reports and sectioning off certain APIs (programming interfaces). It goes as far as to claim that the GCC compiler used to build Mac OS X apps is 20 percent slower than the typical Windows compiler.

At the same time, Adobe says it's trying to bridge some of the gap and that Flash 10.1 for the Mac will be faster simply by using CoreAnimation, which has the advantages of native speed and drawing on some added hardware acceleration. Flash isn't expected to reach the iPhone soon due to Apple's concerns about stability and performance.

Adobe believes that more than half of all smartphones will use Flash by 2012 and that many phones and tablets this year will support Flash, particularly those that use processors like the Freescale i.MX515, NVIDIA's Tegra 250 and Qualcomm's Snapdragon.

By Electronista Staff


  1. 010111

    Junior Member

    Joined: Aug 2002



    it is entirely Apples fault. which is why ALL developers have these same issues as Adobe.

    maybe they can explain why the very similar Silverlight runs infinitely better / is faster (with less CPU no less) / more stable than Flash?

    you'd think Microsoft would be having these same issues developing such a similar platform for OSX.

  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007


    What a Joke

    And what a scared company.

    On one side Adobe is saying that "Adobe believes that more than half of all smartphones will use Flash by 2012",,,, yea cause its so great.... yet " it revealed that Flash 10.1 will only be available for phones running Android 2.1 or later" which says that smart phones running flash only get updated as Adobe feels. So all the phones that do not get the Adobe upgrade, will not be able to see the new flash files on line..... Just like the iPhone.

    HMMMMM. So Adobe is great... they just do not feel like making a great little program that just works.... They need to keep it weird so they can make lots of money off it.

    YEP. time for html5 I guess. :-)

    Just a thought,

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008


    This is where...

    the term FOS comes from...Adobe's "solution" to Flash users on Macs. How convenient to blame Apple's API's after a decade of not being able or committed to providing solution, much less an acknowledgement, that Flash was an inferior software on Mac OS.

    You better hope it takes years for HTML 5 to catch on, Adobe!
    (And what kind of strategy is that?! "Oh, yeah...our Flash will be obsolete due to an open, free solution, but that's years away!")


  1. qazwart

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001


    This is the best that Adobe can do?

    They showed a rather lame game and then went to the National Geographic website and showed off flash ads -- explaining this is how Adobe supports their website.

    And, this is the future of the web...

    Even worse, Adobe has so far only supports one version of Android and hasn't yet managed to create a Flash client for WebOS or Windows Mobile.

    Flash is dead.

  1. slider

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Open Web Standards

    Before we know it, handheld devices, such as phones and media tablets, will represent a larger presence on the web than desktops and PC. Apple clearly has a large presence here and I believe it will maintain it's presence in the future. There is no faster way to drive development of an open standard than to provide opponents an incentive to do so. I believe we'll see HTML5 sooner than Adobe predicts for no other reason than Adobe itself.

  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Blink. Blink.

    What? The GCC compiler is 20% slower than MS and THAT's what's kept them in the back of the Mac dev pack for how many years? Are they working out of a garage?


  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Like H264 won't be the standard...

    Please. Apparently Beta to RC for Adobe is years, so where's the harm?

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999


    Android 2.1

    The requirement is probably intended more to limit the hardware on which Adobe will let Flash run, so that the older Android devices don't run it embarrassingly poorly (or anymore than usual, at least), causing bad PR.

  1. Wingsy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005


    Does It Scroll?

    First, I agree with the poster who mentioned the lame game they chose for this demo. Is that the best they've got?

    But I couldn't help but notice how many times they guy swiped to scroll but the phone just sat there. Again, is that the best they've got?

  1. ctt61

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2005


    Adobe Problem

    why blame Apple for your inept software? if Flash is so good, Apple will put on iphone. If Flash is standard and great as claim, then apple is the one that came in the short end of this. Just my 2c

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