This morning Android 2.2 (better known as FroYo) was announced at Google I/O, including the promise of Flash support. Those lucky dogs already packing a 2.2 handset can now download the Flash Player 10.1 beta from Adobe, enabling them to nab the necessary software from the Market and do what few iPhones dare to dream: play stupid Flash games in the native browser. Adobe has been trying Flash and Air for mobile with beta testers for a little over a month now, but we’ll have some hands-on time with it later today, so stick around for a video and impressions.
Although it’s been proven to be technically possible, Apple is vehemently avoiding Flash in favour of HTML5, something Google wasn’t shy about chiming on during the announcement. Android, in all of its recent and future incarnations on a variety manufacturers, will reap a significant advantage over iPhone at least as far as the mobile web goes.There’s a wealth of Flash-based content online right now that simply isn’t easily accessible on mobile, and Google gets the gold star for being first.
It’s not even a question of developers chosing either the newer HTML5 on iPhone, or the well-established Flash on Android – Android can handle both, so it’s kind of a no contest. It’s true that much of the content that Flash is used to access can be built into an iPhone app, but many web sites would rather not have to put in the work and instead have their content immediately accessible through the browser. On the other hand, modernizing with full HTML5 support is likely in their best interest, and making an app will benefit both them and Apple. On top of that, as well as Android is doing, iPhone is still doing much better, so anyone who wants a piece of that pie will have to bend to Apple’s standards.
If you’ve got a capable handset, visit www.adobe.com/go/getfp10android on your new and improved Android browser to get downloading Flash Player 10.1 beta.