updated 10:50 pm EST, Mon February 21, 2011
Adobe says Flash 10.2 for Android 3 due in weeks
Adobe in an update tried to assuage fears surrounding the delay of Flash for the Motorola Xoom. It now expects the Xoom and other Android 3.0 tablets to get Flash 10.2 within "a few weeks" of the OS being available. Some will get it pre-installed, while the Xoom and others will have to wait for an over-the-air update, team member Matt Rozen said.
He also took an opportunity to repeat Adobe's confidence in mobile Flash and said it had raised its estimates for the year to where 132 million mobile devices would have native Flash installed. People were "clearly asking" for Flash on devices, Rozen argued.
The timing could lead to a short wait for Flash but would also leave many of the first reviewers running the Xoom without Flash, one of its most heavily advertised features. Adobe has drawn much attention to Flash on Android 3.0 since it will not only benefit from 10.2's hardware graphics acceleration but from the much faster stock tablet hardware, which will almost always revolve around dual-core Tegra 2 processors. Performance of 10.1 on early tablets has often been flawed both through 10.1's overdependence on the main processor and the weaker, single-core performance it has had to lean on. Flash on the Xoom should both be more seamless and also use less battery by offloading work to the more efficient graphics hardware.
Apple initially refused to use Flash on iOS for a number of technical reasons that often centered on performance and battery life. It's unclear if those arguments will have gone away, but the eventual addition of Flash to the Xoom may leave stability as the one remaining issue.