Software maker Adobe has formally announced that its Flash Player 10.1 for Mobile has been released to its mobile platform partners, and should start popping up in mobile phone updates in the near future. Adobe touts Flash Player 10.1 for mobile devices as the first Flash Player release that bring “the full Web” to mobile devices the same way it can be experienced on desktop and notebook systems, enabling not just troves of online video but also heaps of rich applications, games, animations, music, and more.
“We are thrilled that more than three million Flash designers and developers are now able to unleash their creativity on the world of smart phones, tablets, netbooks, televisions, and other consumer electronics,” said Adobe platform business general manager and VP David Wadhwani, in a statement. “The combined power of the leading rich media technology platform with millions of passionate creatives is sure to impact the world in ways we haven’t even imagined yet.”
Adobe has released Flash Player 10.1 to mobile partners building devices based on Android (version 2.2, “Froyo”), BlackBerry, and Palm’s webOS, along with the folks working on future versions of Symbian, Windows Phone, LiMo, and MeeGo. Adobe expects the update will be made available to owners of compatible devices via over-the-air updates as well as being pre-installed on new smartphones. Among the Android devices to support Flash Player 10.1 will be the HTC Evo, Google Nexus One, HTC Desire, Dell Streak, HTC Incredible, Motorola Droid, Motorola Milestone, and Samsung Galaxy S. Adobe also expects other partners like ARM, Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Brightcove to get behind Flash Player 10.1.
In addition to bringing full Flash content to mobile devices—albeit often at a significant cost to mobile battery life—Adobe has added mobile-specific input models so Flash developers can make apps that behave the way users expect mobile apps to work. Adobe has also worked to reduce the amount of RAM, CPU, and battery power Flash consumes.
Of course, the white elephant in the room is Apple and its just-released iOS 4, which famously doesn’t support Flash and which features a developer agreement that prohibits the use of technology like Flash to bring applications to the iPhone and iPad ecosystem. Apple is instead advocating HTML5 and video standards like H.264. Apple’s resistance to Flash represents the single largest threat to Adobe’s transferring its long-standing near total-ubiquity of Flash in the desktop space to mobile devices: Adobe now has a full featured Flash Player for mobile…but that player has no presence on arguably the most significant mobile platform on the market.