Adobe unveils Flash Player 10.1

Mon, 10/05/2009 - 8:05am
Monica Alleven, Wireless Week

It’s an Adobe day as the provider of Flash technology kicks off its MAX developer conference in Los Angeles with a bevy of announcements and a clear embrace for the mobile market.

For starters, Adobe Systems unveiled Adobe Flash Player 10.1 software for smartphones, smartbooks, netbooks, PCs and other Internet-connected devices.

Right now, Flash is incorporated in about 40 percent of phones worldwide, and about 1.2 billion phones have shipped with Flash. The challenge has been that the technology in the phone is not always consistent with the version of Flash on the PC, which leads to fragmentation, says Tom Barclay, senior product marketing manager for the Flash Player at Adobe.

Flash 10.1 offers consistent runtime, so the behavior is the same across platforms. A public beta of the browser-based runtime will be available for Windows Mobile, Palm webOS and desktop systems later this year, Barclay says. Public betas for Android and Symbian are expected in early 2010. (The HTC Hero offered via Sprint uses an earlier version of Flash.)

More than 98 percent of PCs have access to Flash Player already installed, says Adrian Ludwig, group product marketing manager for the Flash Platform. A lot of content providers use Flash to deliver their content on their Web sites, and about 70 percent of Web games use Flash. Interestingly, Apple has yet to incorporate Flash into the iPhone.

Here are some more announcements coming out today at MAX, which is expected to draw some 5,000 developers:

  • Adobe and Qualcomm are working together to optimize and dramatically increase performance for Adobe Flash Player 10.1 for Qualcomm’s chipsets targeted at smartphones and smartbooks. The first consumer devices ready to support Flash Player 10.1 will be smartbooks and smartphones from companies such as Toshiba and will be based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset. Qualcomm will introduce broader support within its product portfolio for Flash Player 10.1 when the beta version of the player becomes available later this year.
  • Adobe and Research In Motion (RIM) are working together to bring Adobe Flash Player support to the BlackBerry platform. RIM is joining the Open Screen Project.
  • Google also joined the Open Screen Project, which now has close to 50 members.
  • Nokia and Adobe announced more than 35 funded multi-screen applications as part of the joint Open Screen Project Fund. Both companies also introduced new Nokia Web Runtime (WRT) extensions for Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 software to make the creation of mobile WRT widgets easier for supported Nokia devices. Nokia has shipped more than 400 million devices with Flash technology. Developers are invited to publish their content to the Ovi Store and the Adobe Air Marketplace for consumers to download.
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•  Camiant opens new offices in Europe, Asia Pacific
•  Vonage releases calling app for iPhone, BlackBerry
•  Adobe unveils Flash Player 10.1
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