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Summary:

Adobe is pushing out its new Flash Player 10.1 for mobile devices, which was designed to create a common experience for video and interactive applications between the desktop, smartphones and tablet devices while also adding features and increasing performance for interactivity on small screens.

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Adobe is pushing out its new Flash Player 10.1 for mobile devices, which was designed to create a common experience for video and interactive applications between the desktop, smartphones and tablet devices. The company has finally released its Flash player 10.1 source code, as well as a software development kit (SDK) that will allow its current partners, as well as any new mobile partners that want to use the code, to roll out the new player on their devices.

The new Flash Player also supports a number of mobile-specific features, such as support for accelerometers, smart zooming, and multitouch controls. In addition to those features, Adobe has worked to improve the performance of the Flash Player on mobile devices, over concerns that it’s a resource (and battery) hog. That includes adding a “smart rendering” feature that limits Flash processing to only happen when it is visible on screen, a sleep mode that slows down processing when a mobile device enters into screen saver mode and advanced out-of-memory management that is designed to more efficiently handle non-optimized Flash content.

Those performance enhancements have greatly improved the amount of time users can spend with their Flash-ready devices. According to Anup Murarka, Adobe’s director of technology strategy, the new Flash Player 10.1 gets about three-and-a-half hours of video playback and more than four hours of Flash-based gameplay on some mobile devices.

Flash Player 10.1 has already been made available on mobile devices running the latest version of the Android mobile OS, version 2.2, codenamed “Froyo,” but Adobe is still waiting on its mobile partners to get the software pre-installed on their devices. In addition to Android, BlackBerry, webOS, Windows Phone 7 Series, LiMo, MeeGo and Symbian OS will all support the player.

While adoption of the new Flash Player is currently being constrained by new OS rollouts, Murarka said, Adobe expects a ramp up in the number of devices that support the player over the next few years. According to Murarka, Adobe estimates that Flash Player 10.1 will be available on about 9 percent of mobile devices this year, but that will grow to more than 50 percent of the market by the end of 2012. That estimate comes despite the fact that Apple refuses to support Flash on its mobile products, including its iPhone and iPad.

Related content on GigaOM Pro: Who Owns Android’s Future? Google — Or Apple? (subscription required)

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  1. Those darn apple people, they still don’t want to support flash. I still think it’s over money rather than anything technical. If they have flash running they will lose money on their iTunes with people streaming video rather than buying video from them.

  2. Would help if you could mention some tech details such as – which silicon (apart from which OS) is this known to work on? Does this do some 3D effect? Which ones? Also, what features does this depend upon – ex. Open GL ES 1.1 or 2.0. What configurability does this come with – ex. choose between great rendering and battery life. Can 2D graphics done in Flash 10.1 benefit from hardware assistance (from ex. OGLES) and to what extent?

  3. If Adobe invested the same amount of money and time into actually advancing Flash that they put into criticizing Apple’s decisions maybe it would actually be a good platform. They are trying to get into onto other platforms when it doesn’t even support 64-bit yet. All major operating systems have 64-bit support and most web browsers have already and are already transitioned over. Flash is also well known for performing great on Windows and not Linux based distributions or Mac OS X. They really should invest in what they have instead of making a fret about what others are doing and trying to engage in new markets when their offerings are not too well off, but it will all come down to the consumer really. Most will not understand the bickering between the two. All they will understand is if their browser crashes or if it doesn’t as a result of Flash. How Flash plays out on the mobile phone will be an interesting sight once some benchmarks from respectable companies emerge.

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