Adobe has teamed up with Google to make Flash-based video and applications on mobile devices. At the Google I/O developers conference today, Adobe announced that it will finally make the latest iteration of its Flash Player — version 10.1 — available on phones running Android 2.2, as well as Google TV devices.
The new version of Flash was designed to work across PCs, mobile and other consumer electronics devices. Previously, mobile phone manufacturers that wanted to support Flash had to install a pared-down version of the player, called Flash Lite, which was optimized for low-power devices. Flash Player 10.1, in contrast, is designed to access and display all the same videos and applications on mobile devices that are available through web browsers and have the plugin installed.
The new version was designed with mobile in mind. Flash 10.1 supports touchscreen gestures and accelerometers that are built into Android mobile devices. The player will also support smart zoom, full-screen mode, and smart rendering, and will use hardware decoding and out-of-memory management to improve performance on mobile devices.
The release of Flash on Android devices comes as Adobe remains locked in a very public spat with Apple over the availability of Flash on the iPhone, iPad and other devices. In an open letter responding to criticism that the iPad doesn’t support Flash, Apple CEO Steve Jobs criticized Adobe products for being “100% proprietary.” Meanwhile, Adobe executives and others have criticized Apple for not being open to enabling Flash on its devices.
“Being open means being inclusive, not being exclusive,” Google’s VP of engineering, Vic Gundotra, said during the morning keynote at I/O, thanking the folks at Adobe for working with Google to get the runtime on Android mobile devices. “It’s much nicer than just saying ‘No,’” he said.
In addition to Android mobile devices, Flash Player 10.1 will be available on Windows Phone 7, webOS, Symbian and BlackBerry devices. When the new version of the Flash Player was first announced, Adobe was targeting launch in the first quarter of this year, but that’s been pushed back. General availability of Flash Player 10.1 is now expected in June.
Related content on GigaOm Pro: TV Apps: Evolution from Novelty to Mainstream (subscription required)