Adobe Addresses Mobile Issues with Flash Player 10.1

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Adobe is working to narrow the gap between Flash support on mobile devices and computers with the unveiling of Flash Player 10.1. The company said the new version will offer "uncompromised" viewing across devices, although the iPhone was missing from the list.

Adobe promised to deliver a beta version of Flash Player 10.1 to Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, Palm webOS and Windows Mobile developers later this year. Versions for Symbian OS and Google Android should be available in early 2010, and Adobe is working with RIM to bring Flash Player to the BlackBerry smartphone lineup, too.

The new version of the Flash Player is designed to take advantage of the Graphic Processor Units in devices to improve video and graphics playback and conserve battery life. It also will support multi-touch displays, accelerometers, gestures, screen orientation, and more.

Whether or not the new features are enough to convince Apple to support Flash on the iPhone and iPod touch remains to be seen, it's clear that Adobe is working to support the features found in many modern smartphones. The company has also said in the past that it has been working with Apple to bring Flash to the iPhone.

The lack of Flash support in the iPhone is seen as a major weakness by many since the multimedia format is so heavily used on the Web. Flash is commonly used for video and audio playback as well as Web page interface design, preventing iPhone and iPod touch users from visiting many Web sites.

So far, however, Apple has resisted allowing Flash on its handheld devices because the mobile version of the platform is too limited and the Desktop version runs too slow on the iPhone. If Flash Player 10.1 lives up to expectations -- and Apple doesn't see it as a threat to its own multimedia plans -- iPhone owners may eventually be able to view Flash content on the go.

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Comments

Dave Hamilton

I still don’t see Flash ever coming to the iPhone, regardless of performance hurdles. With the App Store, Apple has significantly reduced the need (and likely demand) for Flash on the device. Now, for me, the lack of Flash is nothing more than a minor nuisance. Yes, I hate seeing that little “can’t touch this” Flash logo when I browse to a site that requires it, but I’m almost always able to do whatever I need regardless.

deasys

You might want to make an effort to make Flash run decently on Mac OS X, Adobe.

But even if you do so successfully, I’ll still be blocking it.

Lee Dronick

You might want to make an effort to make Flash run decently on Mac OS X

The World would be better served if they would just let Flash wither regardless of the OS. My disdain for Flash is well known and I unapologetic about that.

Jeff Gamet

I only occasionally miss having Flash on my iPhone, but for some people the lack of support is a really big deal.

My biggest complaint about Flash is that most developers use if for the wrong reason. Simply because it’s the only tool you know how to develop with doesn’t mean it’s the right one for the job, and that’s where I see Flash stumbling. There are too many devs that build entire Web sites in Flash when they shouldn’t and we all suffer for it.

That said, if Adobe can give Apple compelling reasons why Flash should be available on the iPhone (and Apple buys into it) I think we could eventually see the two come together. Of course, I’m not holding my breath.

Jeff

Lee Dronick

My biggest complaint about Flash is that most developers use if for the wrong reason.

Yes, I was being a bit glib. Flash has its place, but too much of it is too much.

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