Adobe Demos Flash on Android Tablet

| News

Adobe pulled off something of a surprise as the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco when the company demonstrated Flash and Adobe AIR running on an Android-based touchscreen tablet. The prototype tablet apparently played Flash content without any problems, according to Zedomax, which means Adobe may have finally shown that Flash can run acceptably on mobile devices.

The tablet device looked to be based on NVIDIA’s prototype tablet hardware that could be available for consumers near the end of the year.

Assuming production models perform as well as the prototype demonstration, and offers battery life that’s in line with the iPad, competition in Apple’s redefined tablet market could heat up. 

The demonstration is also good news for Adobe since the company needed to show its Flash technology running smoothly on portable devices following its weak response to an open letter from Apple CEO Steve Jobs that slammed Flash.

The two companies have been openly sparring ever since Apple revised the license for iPhone OS 4 developers to block third-party tools that can’t directly link to Apple’s APIs. Adobe had been showing off its Flash CS5 module that converts Flash apps into native iPhone apps ahead of the announcement.

Whether or not Adobe’s prototype tablet running Google’s Android platform will be enough to convince Apple that Flash belongs on mobile devices, however, remains to be seen.

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Comments

Tiger

Sounds like SJ’s plan worked to prompt Adobe into getting its act together….

tongue laugh

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Ah, if we could only take bets on whether Adobe would actually ship a Flash browser plugin for iPhone OS if asked to… Jobs is too much of a social retard to give himself an in.

AAPL down another $7.50 this morning on that Android tablet demo. Or maybe down on this… Ellen’s iPhone Commercial—apparently there’s no app for having a sense of humor?

jragosta

So Adobe says they MIGHT have a tablet running Flash “near the end of the year” and that’s supposed to be impressive? Especially considering their inability to even meet their targets on software, and their lack of experience with hardware?

Not to mention, of course, that the ability of Flash to run on a 1+ GHz tablet is hardly any indication that Apple made the wrong decision on their 400-600 MHz iPhones.

Maybe Adobe should put their energy into programming rather than silly PR stunts.

jragosta

“Ah, if we could only take bets on whether Adobe would actually ship a Flash browser plugin for iPhone OS if asked to”

Maybe you should think about the history. Adobe had 3 years to release a version of Flash which would run on the iPhone. Even today, they don’t have a full version of Flash for ANY device - and their beta requires considerably more CPU power than the iPhone offers. Do you really think Apple didn’t ask Adobe what their plans were sometime in the past 3 years?

Instead of fixing Flash, Adobe has started an all-out war against Apple to the point that Apple felt they had to defend themselves.

That ship has sailed. iDevices are doing just fine without Flash. More and more web content is switching to html 5. Apple’s iPad success gives them early mover advantage in this market. Why would they change now - even if Adobe COULD magically make a decent version of Flash?

Tiger

Tech stocks tank again. Including Adobe. Shouldn’t they be up?

Oh wait, it’s Portugal’s fault this time.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tech-stocks-get-caught-up-in-european-economic-fea-2010-05-05?siteid=yhoof

geoduck

I’ll say the same thing that I said when the iPad was announced: It’s easy to make something look good in a demo. How will it work in the real world?

There is a difference between Running and Running Acceptably.

Lee Dronick

Tech stocks tank again. Including Adobe. Shouldn?t they be up?

I was wondering if it was the oil spill, Cinco de Mayo, or the latest auto recall, it seems to me that reasons don’t make much sense. Anyway, Apple and Adobe seem be climbing over the last hour.

Mac Help

Look how well Flash ran on the HP Slate and Microsoft’s Courier. And see what happened to them!?!  <sarcasm>

JulesLt

Notice how no one talks about the lack of Java on the iPhone anymore?

That was big deal at launch - all existing mobile apps were Java based, and the iPhone was locking out Java developers.

The reality is - good developers switch platforms relatively easily. The guys doing complex Flash development tend to come from a traditional programming background anyway (the games programmers from C++, the RIA programmers from Java) - and use Flash out of necessity, not affection.

What amazes me is that Adobe have managed to turn this into such a killer battle, to the degree that ‘runs Flash’ appears to be a competitive feature for any iPhone/iPad rival - bigger than the native capabilities of the Android OS - when I’m not actually sure many consumers OR developers care.

I posit that any content popular enough to notice is ‘missing’ from iDevices, is popular enough to monetise via the App store, rather than page views.

Bob Wolfe

What amazes me is that Adobe have managed to turn this into such a killer battle, to the degree that ?runs Flash? appears to be a competitive feature for any iPhone/iPad rival - bigger than the native capabilities of the Android OS

This is a really good observation. Perhaps this meme is preferable to the problem Google is having with getting their most current Android OS on Android phones and tablets.

BurmaYank

Whether or not Adobe?s prototype tablet running Google?s Android platform will be enough to convince Apple that Flash belongs on mobile devices, however, remains to be seen.

Whether or not it does that, however, is IMO much less important to the iPad/iPhone’s future health & vitality than whether the U.S. government comes to believe that this demonstration of Flash and Adobe AIR running on an Android-based touchscreen tablet without any problems actually negates SJ’s arguments that Flash apps must be prohibited on iPhones because they cannot run acceptably on mobile devices.

What I think really remains to be seen is how this news will be seen by the U.S. DOJ &/or the FTC’s inquiry into whether Apple?s new policy blocking iPhone OS 4 app developers from using non-native tools (i.e. - apps made from compilers that don?t rely on C, C++ and Objective-C calls to Apple?s APIs, such as Flash-based apps) actually stifles competition by blocking mobilephone app developers from developing cross-platform software that runs on any mobile device instead of only on the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.

Just because it makes perfect sense to me that the iPad/iPhone’s future health & vitality truly does depend on preventing any cross-platform apps (which I have no doubt must always and necessarily be grossly dumbed-down & inferior to the best native apps on any platform) from ever infecting/invading & degrading/overwhelming the iPad/iPhone ecosphere, I know I must not expect the world at large to agree/understand this.  So I watch this development with apprehension (like watching kudzu or walking catfish invading habitats and driving native species to extinction).

elehcdn

Wait, I thought that Adobe said that Flash would be available at the end of the 2nd quarter. The best that they can do is run a demo on a piece of hardware that doesn’t ship until the end of the year?

sflocal

AAPL down another $7.50 this morning on that Android tablet demo. Or maybe down on this? Ellen?s iPhone Commercial?apparently there?s no app for having a sense of humor?

Don’t even spread your FUD.  The entire market tanked, not just AAPL.  It has nothing at all to do with whatever vaporware that Adobe / Android is hawking at the moment.

Since we know you’re a Flash-designer, spewing anti-Apple propaganda like you do simply proves that you were in the cahoots with Adobe the entire time.  Total bias.

RonMacGuy

Sure, in a carefully orchestrated demo they can easily run flash. But, if in the end, you have to rewrite your web pages to handle mobile and touch devices running flash anyway, given the tens of millions of iWhatever users out there I am sure most will rewrite using HTML5.

RonMacGuy

sflocal, careful, I got slammed last week for getting between Bosco and Tiger in what I was told is a constant “feud” regarding stock prices. We are supposed to sit back and let them “joke” back and forth as Apple stock rises and falls. Some sort of inside joke I guess.

Bosco and Tiger, how was that?  grin

Tiger

The joke’s not private, anyone can play along. The ups and downs have been so unrelated to the news of the day, instead following the trends of the mess in Europe as of late. So, thanks for joining in.

BTW, did anybody else catch this? Flash…Apple doesn’t want it. Adobe’s whining about that. It’s supposedly “running” on an Android based tablet, but wait, what’s this? It’s not ready for subnotebooks either??????????

Not ready for primetime STILL

JulesLt

Ron - I think it depends on how complex the content is.

If your Flash code is a relatively simple presentation layer, and that needs redesigning for small screens anyway, then you’re likely to rewrite.

On the other hand, if you’ve got a lot of actual functional code written in ActionScript 3, and you need to maintain the same functionality for IE6 users, and for the latest devices, then you have a more interesting decision to make
(even where things work in IE7/8 they are often far slower than doing the same thing in Flash or later browsers).

Do you maintain two versions until IE8/9 dominate?
Do you freeze the Flash version (and any server side APIs behind it)?
Do you move functionality from the Flash front-end back into the server? (A more realistic option than hoping to keep your HTML5 and Flash code in line)

It’s interesting to see the more recent comments about the railways from Adobe’s CEO, where they are actually open about what they really want - which is to make OS and hardware irrelevant by defining the application platform - the same Microsoft-sized dream as Sun.

In that kind of world, something like the iPhone could not emerge until Adobe implemented those features in their platform. It is, ironically considering their complaint, an uncompetitive world.

Standardisation only makes sense when things are not innovating - it tends to freeze time (going back to the railway comparison - a lot of the problems with railways are precisely because they are backwardly compatible with C19th technology).

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