Adobe to demo Flash 10.1 on phones at MWC

Full Flash experience coming to Nexus One, Droid and Palm Pre

Daniel Robinson

Adobe has confirmed that it will demonstrate its eagerly awaited Flash Player 10.1 for smartphones at next week's Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

The player will be shown running on Google's Nexus One, Motorola's Droid and Palm's Pre handsets. However, question marks remain over Symbian and Windows Mobile support.

Flash Player 10.1 promises to bring the full Flash experience to most mobile devices for the first time. A beta has been available since October 2009, and the final release is due sometime in the first half of 2010, according to Adobe.

Anup Murarka, Adobe's director of technology strategy for the Flash Platform, said that MWC attendees will see Flash Player 10.1 on the Nexus One, Pre and Droid (known as the Milestone in the UK).

"Development betas are currently underway for Android, Windows Mobile, WebOS, and desktop operating systems," he added.

The Nexus One and Droid run Android versions 2.1 and 2.0 respectively, while the Pre runs Palm's own WebOS, indicating that these platforms at least will be supported.

Murarka said that he was "not sure" about which versions of Windows Mobile will be able to run Flash 10.1.

"We've done the initial work on Windows Mobile 6.5, and we're working with Microsoft to determine the best starting point, but it may end up as Windows Mobile 7," he said.

Microsoft has yet to announce when Windows Mobile 7 will be available.

Other platforms, including Symbian, are set to be supported, but Adobe will only be able to give a more detailed list closer to the launch.

Flash is "the only consistent runtime available across smartphones, netbooks, PCs and other web-connected devices", according to Murarka.

In fact, instead of referring to platforms, it is "easier to ask which specific devices will be supported", he explained, owing to issues with integration and certification by vendors.

However, Adobe expects Flash support on mobiles to grow rapidly, starting from about nine to 10 per cent of handsets this year, ramping up rapidly to at least half within two to three years, according to Murarka.

"We're continuing to work to get Flash on more platforms. It's installed on 98 per cent of all PCs now, and used by 85 per cent of the top web sites," he said.

Adobe claimed that 19 of the top 20 phone makers have committed to integrating Flash.

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