Apple iPhone is the Only Major Platform Left Out of Flash Mobile 10.1 Party

Adobe Flash is one of the most widely used internet technologies for delivering rich graphical content.  Mobile phones’ inability to display Flash animation have limited their ability to truly get the “full internet”.  This problem has been common across the majority of smart phones from the iPhone to the RIM Blackberries, and across every carrier.

And now there is at last an incoming solution for most.  Adobe has officially unveiled Flash Player 10.1, a new edition of its software that will unify full Flash Player support across a variety of platforms, including smartphones, netbooks, PCs, and other devices.  Adobe is working closely with phone operating system makers to try to ensure no one is left out.

Betas will be rolled out for Google’s Android OS and Symbian OS phones early next year.  Meanwhile, Adobe has announced a partnership with RIM to bring the technology to the Blackberry smart phones.  And a Windows Mobile, webOS (Palm Pre), and desktop developer beta of the Flash player will be rolled out before the year’s end.

This means that by the middle of next year, just about everyone with a smartphone will have Flash and be exploring a richer internet.  Everyone, that is, except for those that own an iPhone.  Apple CEO Steve Jobs continues to insist that Flash is an irrelevant technology that Apple customers don’t need and has refused to collaborate with Adobe.

Undeterred by the notable lack of support from this key player, Adobe is marching forward, with the rest of the industry firmly behind it.  The new Flash player will support GPU acceleration through a partnership with NVIDIA.  It will also offer browser-access to such features as multi-touch (which Apple claims to have patented in the smartphone mobile sphere), gestures, mobile input models, accelerometer and screen orientation, assuming that the phone has native hardware/software support for them.

David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president of the Platform Business Unit at Adobe describes, “With Flash Player moving to new mobile platforms, users will be able to experience virtually all Flash technology based Web content and applications wherever they are. We are excited about the broad collaboration of close to 50 industry leaders in the Open Screen Project and the ongoing collaboration with 19 out of the top 20 handset manufacturers worldwide. It will be great to see first devices ship with full Flash Player in the first half of next year.”

The increasing population of Flash-ready phones will join the over 98 percent of desktop computers that support Flash.  Flash currently delivers 75 percent of the internet’s videos and 70 percent of web games are written using Flash.  Adobe Flash 10, the latest desktop version of Flash, has achieved 93 percent adoption within 10 months, according to Adobe.

The mobile phone industries leaders are excited about the upcoming tech.  States Stephanie Ferguson, general manager, Product Management, Microsoft, “Adobe Flash technology provides a key experience on new Windows phones, enabling people to enjoy rich Flash based games, videos and other interactive Web content on the go. We look forward to bringing in the new capabilities of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 to the Windows phone browser when it becomes available.”

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