Adobe just released Flash Player 10.2 for Android, making Android phones and tablets equipped to play Flash content on web sites. This also signals that Flash will be integrated for Android 3.0.1 Honeycomb, Google’s OS for tablets. According to Adobe, while Flash 10.2 for Android provides performance enhancements that improve the mobile experience, the main push behind this update is to bring Flash to tablets like the Motorola Xoom. Flash 10.2 for Android 2.2, 2.3 and 3.0.1 is available for download in the Android Marketplace.
This is a BIG deal for the mobile world and the web. Apple’s Steve Jobs has been very public about his dislike of Flash as a technology and as every iPhing user knows, by leaving it out of Apple’s iPhone and iPad world. Since Flash is a competitive product that takes away market share from Apple’s QuickTime, I personally wonder if his decision is more about competition than technological concern. It’s a major problem for the many, many web sites which use Flash’s advantages in file size to stream video, or use Flash for attractive enhancements to their sites.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out for Jobs and Apple as Google continues to move toward a leading position in mobile OS, especially outside the U.S. market. For tablets as a whole, I’m still waiting for the right combination of functions that will make the tablet a great business tool. I think we’re getting closer. I’m excited by the potential I see in Motorola’s Xoom and Asus’ Eee Slate. If you haven’t seen the Eee Slate, you should definitely stop by the Microsoft Store and play with it a bit. I’m looking forward to being able to equip our staff with the right tablets.
For those who follow me regularly, you know I’ve finally converted my mobile experience from Blackberry to Android with the new Samsung Galaxy S 4G. I’ll be posting tips on Android as I run across cool stuff and solutions.
You may also remember that we took eight iPads on the road with My Broken Palace, our non-profit, to 14 festival events in the Summer of 2010 to do data capture in our booth. As a now former iPad owner, I found the absence of Flash to be extremely annoying in my iPad browsing experience. I also couldn’t live with being confined to Apple’s world for video options and some of the key software we use here at FrontGate Media and My Broken Palace. I had difficulties with the iPad support for PDFs as well, though I think they will fix that in later versions of the OS, if it’s not already fixed. We eBay’d the iPads at the end of Summer.