So far, the Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system has been a tablet-only affair. Smartphone users are still stuck in the dark ages of Android 2.3 Gingerbread (which received a new update less than two weeks ago). That’s all going to change soon it seems, and we have Adobe, the makers of Flash, to thank for the information.
The latest version of Flash, 10.2, will be coming to tablets and smartphones both “in the next few weeks,” an Adobe rep told Engadget at the currently-underway Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Flash 10.2 is more efficient at playing back web video, which means it is better about conserving battery life, but the Adobe says that version upgrade required specific additions to Honeycomb. This specifically implies that 10.2 won’t work in a Gingerbread OS, which means that if it’s coming to tablets and smartphones “in the next few weeks” then a Honeycomb update for smartphones ought to be coming at around the same time. It’s not quite an official confirmation from Google, but if you can’t have one without the other then logic dictates that the two will arrive in reasonably close proximity to one another.
Adobe also touted the rising mobile adoption of Flash Player and AIR (Adobe’s development platform) and its high expectations for the coming year. More than 20 million smartphones packing Flash Player 10.1, spread across 35 certified devices, shipped in the six months since launch. The company’s expectation for 2011 is to see more than 132 million Flash Player-supporting devices worldwide, with 50 tablets expected to offer support this year alone. Take note Apple: it’s lonely at the top, isn’t it? HTML5 may be the future, but why don’t you climb on board the Flash train for now?
Adobe also touted the newly released Flash Player 10.2, which optimizes mobile support via Stage Video. The press release notes that test results “show up to 80 percent CPU savings” on 1080p playback in Windows and Mac OS environments, and that mobile device support include Android 3.0 Honeycomb and BlackBerry Tablet OS.