A ton of good news about Adobe Flash 10.1: Full Flash is coming to Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, WebOS and Windows Mobile. And it'll be actually GPU accelerated, meaning you can play back YouTube in HD perfectly. But the bad news?
Nothing for the iPhone. "Still a closed device and not much progress there," Adobe told us as they gleefully detailed that Flash was invading basically every other smartphone. Also, we gotta wait until mid-2010 for the full rollout. But, betas for Windows Mobile and WebOS are coming this year, with Android and Symbian early next, meaning you can get your mobile vids on before then. BlackBerry will be a bit longer, since RIM just joined Adobe's Open Screen project. Supposedly, Flash won't run like total garbage on phones, either, like Flash Lite. Fingers crossed, guys!
The GPU acceleration for Flash is the real deal, for sure, though — I watched a Star Trek trailer on YouTube HD on an Nvidia Ion-powered HP Mini 311 output to an external monitor, even, and it ran flawlessly. Which, if you've ever tried to play an HD Flash clip, even on full-fledged systems it molests CPU cycles, so just working on a $US400 netbook very nearly deserves applause.
Flash 10.1 has a few other tricks too with full support for multitouch, gestures and accelerometer input — meaning it'd be perfect on the iPhone, if Apple would ever let it through. And make no mistake, Apple is the roadblock there, since Adobe said engineering work has continued (10,000 years later). The fact that full Flash will be on basically every single smartphone platform also makes that pretty clear.
If you want to spin that positively (my coffee cup is half-full, after all) the iPhone is now basically the only place you can go to flee from Flash, which basically covers everything like a pulsating squid thing with icky tentacles and stuff, ceaselessly stretching out to ensnare more. There is no escape. Except the iPhone. (Which kinda makes no Flash a feature, right?)
Oh, and the new Adobe AIR—TweetDeck, the NY Times Reader and other software runs on top of it—will slightly be less abominable, gobbling less memory and acting more like a real application, with USB mass storage support, multitouch and gesture input, and p2p powers for stuff like Skype and gaming.
Bottom line, It's a Flashy world, we just live in it.
Adobe Unveils First Full Flash Player for Mobile Devices and PCs Close to 50 Open Screen Project Participants Support New Browser Runtime for Multiple Platforms
LOS ANGELES - Oct. 5, 2009 - Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today unveiled Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1 software for smartphones, smartbooks, netbooks, PCs and other Internet-connected devices, allowing content created using the Adobe Flash Platform to reach users wherever they are. A public developer beta of the browser-based runtime is expected to be available for Windows® Mobile, Palm® webOS and desktop operating systems including Windows, Macintosh and Linux later this year. Public betas for Google® Android™ and Symbian® OS are expected to be available in early 2010.
In addition, Adobe and RIM announced a joint collaboration to bring Flash Player to Blackberry® smartphones, and Google joined close to 50 other industry players in the Open Screen Project initiative. Flash Player 10.1 is the first consistent runtime release of the Open Screen Project that enables uncompromised Web browsing of expressive applications, content and high definition (HD) videos across devices. Using the productive Web programming model of the Flash Platform, the browser-based runtime enables millions of designers and developers to reuse code and assets and reduce the cost of creating, testing and deploying content across different operating systems and browsers. Flash Player 10.1 is easily updateable across all supported platforms to ensure rapid adoption of new innovations that move the Web forward.
The browser-based runtime leverages the power of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) for accelerated video and graphics while conserving battery life and minimizing resource utilization. New mobile-ready features that take advantage of native device capabilities include support for multi-touch, gestures, mobile input models, accelerometer and screen orientation bringing unprecedented creative control and expressiveness to the mobile browsing experience. Flash Player 10.1 will also take advantage of media delivery with HTTP streaming, including integration of content protection powered by Adobe® Flash® Access 2.0. This effort, code-named Zeri, will be an open format based on industry standards and will provide content publishers, distributors and partners the tools they need to utilise HTTP infrastructures for high-quality media delivery in Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe® AIR® 2.0 software.
"With Flash Player moving to new mobile platforms, users will be able to experience virtually all Flash technology based Web content and applications wherever they are," said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president, Platform Business Unit at Adobe. "We are excited about the broad collaboration of close to 50 industry leaders in the Open Screen Project and the ongoing collaboration with 19 out of the top 20 handset manufacturers worldwide. It will be great to see first devices ship with full Flash Player in the first half of next year."
"We are excited to join Adobe and other industry leaders in the Open Screen Project," said Sundar Pichai, vice president of Product Management at Google. "This initiative supports our common goal to move the Web forward as a platform and to spur innovation in the industry through technology such as Adobe Flash."
"Adobe Flash technology provides a key experience on new Windows phones, enabling people to enjoy rich Flash based games, videos and other interactive Web content on the go," said Stephanie Ferguson, general manager, Product Management, Microsoft Corp. "We look forward to bringing in the new capabilities of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 to the Windows phone browser when it becomes available."
"Motorola is excited to be one of the first handset manufacturers to ship Android based devices with Flash Player support early next year," said Christy Wyatt, vice president of software applications and ecosystem at Motorola. "As the No.1 platform for video on the Web, uncompromised browsing of Flash technology based content is essential for a rich mobile experience and something users expect from Motorola today."
"As a longtime partner of Adobe, and more than 400 million Nokia phones shipped with existing Flash technology to date, we are excited to see Flash Player becoming a reality for mobile phones and other mobile devices," said Purnima Kochikar, vice president, Forum Nokia. "Nokia is excited about full Flash Player coming to devices and we are committed to supporting Flash Player 10.1 on mobile devices in 2010."