Flash Finally Hits Smartphones, Hits Major Speed Snag

flash finally hits smartphones major speed snag android flash1

At the Google I/O conference last week, Adobe touted the newest Flash for mobile phones as being faster and better designed to conserve mobile battery life. One drawback was that it would require Android 2.2 as a minimum requirement, but now that Android 2.2 has begun to ship with the Nexus One phones, we can finally get Flash on mobile devices.  Although you may not want it.

The website PocketNow has run a series of speed tests to check out Adobe’s claims and to see how Flash 10.1 beta on a mobile phone runs. In short, it is not good.

PocketNow used the Nexus One that has begun to ship with Android 2.2, and it compared it to the iPhone 3GS and an HTC HD2. With the Flash disabled, the Nexus One outperformed the other phones easily. With Flash enabled, it was the slowest of the three by far.

With Flash turned on, the Nexus One browser was the slowest to load content, and it soon gave a “low memory” error after just a few websites. Even on websites where Flash seemed to work well, the solid performance was usually short term. Flash tends to use large files which quickly consume the limited RAM on even the best of smartphones, and this is a problem that may not have an answer.

But slow speeds weren’t the only problem. Gizmodo checked the power, and the battery life was also an issue; and besides just the battery life, outside of the specifically mobile ready sites Adobe suggested they try, the browser experienced several problems and became unreliable.

It is important to note that the Flash 10.1 is still in beta, but with a growing chorus of voices rallying against Adobe’s flagship program, it would have been nice to see Flash prove them wrong. The official release of Flash 10.1 is June 17, and it will be released for most major platforms on that day.

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