The good news first: Adobe’s promising Flash 10.1 is going to hit smartphones – Android, WebOS, Windows Mobile – and desktops in the “first half” of this year, a slightly less squishy date. And it’ll come over the air. The bad part?
Well it’s bad for Android, anyway: You’re gonna need Android 2.1. At least. Because it provides some access Adobe needs to make the Flash magic happen. So, sorry everything but the Droid and Nexus One, at least for the moment. The “over the air” thing is also kind of “up in the air” as to what that means: it could come from your carrier, it could come from your phonemaker, or failing all else, it could come from Adobe. Which means, Flash isn’t necessarily going to hit your phone at the same time as everybody else’s. Depends on your phone. But, they’re betting that over half of smartphones – 53 per cent – will have Flash Player by 2012. Not surprisingly, Adobe says Flash 10.1 is going to be all over some tablets, too, with accelerated performance on Nvidia’s Tegra 2, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon (like what’s in the Nexus One), and Freescale’s i.MX515.
Lastly, Adobe would like you to know that this whole Adobe vs HTML5 thing is silly, since they totally support HTML5, like all web standards. They love them some web standards, they say. But! They would also like you to note that HTML5 standardisation is years away, and Flash works right now. And the reason you notice crappier performance on the Mac is sorta the Mac’s fault, they say, because they need more access to APIs and they get half-arsed crash reports. Plus, Adobe claims, apps tend to run faster in Windows than OS X generally, because performance is about 20 per cent worse using OS X’s GCC compiler, not to mention performance varies even within an OS, since Flash runs 20 per cent faster in IE8 than Firefox, for instance. Either way, performance will be better on Mac with Flash 10.1, since it’s shifting over to using CoreAnimation.