updated 03:25 pm EDT, Thu May 20, 2010
Nexus One first in line for OS update
Adobe has finally released a public beta of Flash 10.1 for handsets running Android 2.2, the latest version of Google's mobile OS that was formally unveiled this week at the company's I/O conference. The mobile release is said to be optimized for minimal power consumption, with Flash content only loaded after it comes into view on a web page. Content is also automatically paused when the browser is hidden from view or the respective tab is in not in the foreground.
The mobile Flash software is claimed to take advantage of the specialized hardware architecture of handsets. The virtual machine, rendering engine, and media codecs have been managed to run on purpose-built components in certain cases, allowing many tasks to be performed more efficiently without loading everything onto the CPU. Memory optimizations are said to help protect against a crash by shutting down content when resources are low.
Adobe also highlights the usability changes unique to the mobile version of Flash. Aside from multi-touch and tap-to-zoom functions, the software also uses a "smart-zoom" capability to automatically size Flash content to the best width/height dimension for the device. Certain content, such as games, will switch to fullscreen mode without requiring input from the user. The system is also capable of utilizing accelerometer input, with geolocation and other features to be added in the future.
Google's own Nexus One is likely to be the first handset to officially support Android 2.2, with Flash 10.1 available as an over-the-air update. Timing for other devices, such as Motorola's Droid and HTC's smartphones, will vary as the manufacturers launch individual v2.2 updates.