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Adobe rebuffs claims of short Flash mobile battery life

updated 06:50 pm EST, Wed February 24, 2010

Devs claim 3 hours of Flash video playback

Following a video preview of Flash running on a Nexus One, Adobe has rebuffed claims that the software slashes battery life. Several bloggers, including Daring Fireball's John Gruber, observed that the battery charge indicator dropped from the 50 percent level down to 25 percent during the eight minute video. The preview was edited, however, making it unclear how long the team actually used the phone during filming.

To refute the battery claims, Adobe has created another video showing a 17-minute YouTube movie which does not appear to significantly drain the battery. The battery usage chart suggests the browser only accounted for six percent of the drain while the movie was playing.

Adobe claims Flash Player 10.1 enabled video playback for "well over" three hours on a fully-charged battery. Google lists a playback time of seven hours for locally stored videos on the Nexus One, without taking into consideration the browser and Wi-Fi or 3G connection necessary for Flash content.

By Electronista Staff


  1. ebeyer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2004



    So Flash is awesome. So it's not available on iPod/iPod Touch/iPad because ... ?

  1. George3

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008


    Fan Power

    It's not only the processor that Flash runs the h*** out of on my laptop - both of my fans are spinning at very high RPMs to cool everything off. That is definitely NOT efficient.

    If 10.1 is so great release it! We will let you know if it is worth anything. The current version stinks.

    When Flash was first introduced I couldn't wait until it was on every computer, but Adobe hasn't improved it at all. Now I can't wait for it to go away forever.

  1. ggirton

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    Flash Developers

    do not plan to buy the iPad.

    They will save us all.

  1. facebook_Stuart

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2010


    Did everyone miss the status bar clock?

    I call their bluff, watch the video again, and keep an eye on the TIME in the status bar.

    @00:43 into the video when we first see status bar it is 3:59pm and the battery is 50%.
    @06:59 into the video, note that the status bar is showing 4:07pm, a mere 8 minutes later, and the battery is roughly 25%.

    If they were really editing, the time should be much later. No continuity issues here.



  1. JulesLt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2005



    Go to the Adobe site, download it and install the public beta. My observation is that it is a huge improvement (I had 100 tabs open in Safari, many with Flash content, and Flash was using something like 2% CPU - i.e. it is definitely doing something clever around running content on inactive tabs - you can still play audio in a non-displayed tab, but it looks like it doesn't run animation loops anymore).

    BashFlash very rarely lights up red now.

    Equally, CPU usage when running content is also hugely improved. As to why it's not released - I suspect it's not compatible with 100% of existing code, or there are other significant bugs, but I've not hit any problems myself.

    As for movie playback - there is no reason why Flash H264 movie playback should be that different from native H264 movie playback if both are using hardware decoding - it's down to the phones GPU to do the work. The key question for me is the efficiency of the other parts of Flash (i.e. applications and animations that make heavy use of the Flash VM).

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