This means that just about everyone who wants this feature is going to have to wait weeks or months to get it, because Google just announced the new version of this operating system last week, and it isn’t widely available yet.
Upgrading a smartphone doesn’t work the same as upgrading a PC. When Google finishes work on this OS in the coming weeks, it will give it to device makers, who will then modify it for each of their models before distributing it to users.
More about Adobe Flash Player 10.1
In past years, Adobe has tried to get Flash support onto smartphones with scaled down versions, but not anymore. The full version of Flash Player 10.1 will be for desktops running Windows or Mac OS X, as well as for the Android OS and eventually other smartphone operating systems.
It is going to support sites that use Flash for navigation, as well as Flash video.
The software will take advantage of the capabilities of the devices it is running on, from multi-touch screens to Graphics Processing Units.
More about Android OS 2.2
In addition to the Adobe Flash Player, the next version of Google’s mobile operating system will be the first to include tethering and portable hotspot software.
Android OS 2.2 also contains a number of other small enhancements, but none of the changes will significantly change the platform.
For example, it will run third-party apps faster, and allow users to install software on a removable memory card.
Flash was created as a way to bring advanced multimedia features to the Web. Many popular websites use it for navigation, and most streaming video services do too. Without it, these sites and services are inaccessible to smartphone users.
Last year, Adobe promised that Flash would be available for phones running Google’s Android and Palm’s webOS in the first half of this year. This week, the head of Adobe said that this will now happen in the second half of the year.
Hoping for Flash on my smartphone has started to feel like chasing a rainbow. It can seem tantalizingly close but it moves away every time I think I’m getting close to it.
To be honest, I truly expect Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen to tell us this fall that a mobile version of Flash will be out in early 2011. And then late 2011. And then 2012…
Just to be clear, I don’t think Adobe’s engineers on this project are dumb as rocks — they just have a nearly impossible challenge. Flash is a very complicated technology, and getting it to run well on the limited resources of a smartphone is very hard. It requires a fast processor and large amounts of RAM.
I suspect that what’s going to happen is that Adobe is going to have to wait for hardware to catch up to its software. Smartphones with 1 GHz processors are becoming increasingly common, and the amount of RAM has been creeping up. At some point, engineers are going to be able to end their fruitless efforts to get Flash to run well on a 400 MHz processor with 128 MB of RAM, and release a version for phones running 1.6 GHz processors with 1 GB of RAM.
Of course, it’s possible that by the time that happens, HTML5 will make the entire process moot. This emerging standard will do most of what Flash can do, hopefully with less resources.]]>