Adobe Flash 10.1 Player is here for the Android platform, but even though it’s out of beta only the Nexus One with Android 2.2 Froyo is officially supported. That all changes today, as now the official Flash Player app can be installed on any Android phone that’s running 2.2 (Froyo).
The Flash Player 10.1 application is now available for your downloading pleasure, and best of all, you don’t need to root your smartphone in order to use it. All that’s required is that your handset be running Froyo and you’re good to go. For those who just bought a Droid 2 or just recently updated to Android 2.2 on your Droid or EVO, you should know that this build isn’t yet available in the Market. The good news, though, is that you can now get the latest version of Flash player, regardless of what Froyo’d device you have in your pocket.
Now that’s out of the way, don’t expect the best experience with Flash. It can make the Android web browser slow down a lot, which is why I’d suggest going to the settings and set plug-ins to “on demand” so you can choose when you want to view Flash. That is, unless you want to always see Flash-based ads on a site. Adobe has undergone quite a bit of criticism for poor performance of Flash on mobile devices, and for the post part, it’s true. Although, to be fair, we had some great experiences with Flash 10.1 on a Froyo Nexus One.
Flash isn’t perfect, and to ensure the best experience, websites need to be optimized for mobile devices. Sadly, not many sites are optimized in this way. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the multitudes of Flash games and content available, but it may just be a little less smooth than what you’d see on your computer.
I agree with Steve Jobs when he said if you have to rewrite a site to be optimized for mobile, why not write it with a more open standard. It makes sense, right? But he did play down the fact that converting a Flash-based site to be optimized for mobile is much easier than writing it from scratch. In either case, Android supports both Flash and HTML5. So while HTML5 is fighting to catch up, Flash will keep getting better, and if HTML5 does indeed eventually perform better than Flash some day, at least you had something to tide you over until then.
So, Froyo users, why don’t you pick up the official Flash Player for Android, here.