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.