Adobe claims that Flash content is present on more than 85 percent of the top 100 websites, and that approximately 75 percent of all web-based videos use Flash. In good news for the growing numbers of people accessing the Internet on their mobile phones, Adobe has unveiled its Flash Player 10.1: Full Flash software to bring an integrated Flash experience to browsers on Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, WebOS and Windows Mobile smartphones – but not iPhone.
Since Flash 10.1 will include GPU acceleration, devices like netbooks running on nVidia's Ion platform, phones running on Qualcomm's Snapdragon or Texas Instruments' OMAP4 platforms, and MIDs running on nVidia's Tegra platform should have the grunt needed to do whatever Flash throws at them, while conserving battery life and minimizing resource use.
Adobe says that 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. It will take advantage of native device capabilities including support for multi-touch, gestures, mobile input models, accelerometer and screen orientation, as well as media delivery with HTTP streaming.
Adobe said that a Flash Player for the iPhone is not being made available because it uses a just-in-time compiler and virtual machine within a browser plug-in to play back website content - technologies that aren’t currently allowed on the iPhone.
However, there is another way to get Flash-based applications onto an iPhone. One of the capabilities of Adobe’s upcoming Flash Professional CS5 - which the company has been showing off at its Adobe MAX 2009 conference - is the ability to export applications built with the program to a standard .ipa format used for native iPhone applications. So, while iPhone users won’t be able to browse web content built with Flash, developers will be able to repackage existing web content as applications for iPhone, if they choose.
Since applications created using Flash Professional CS5 meet all iPhone .ipa and SDK requirements, they can be included in Apple's App Store via the standard iPhone Developer Program. Adobe has even featured seven current App Store applications that were built using a pre-release version of Flash Professional CS5.
A public developer beta of the browser-based runtime is expected to be available from Adobe for Windows Mobile, Palm WebOS and desktop operating systems including Windows, Macintosh and Linux later this year, while public betas for Google Android and Symbian OS are expected to be available in early 2010.
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