Android, Adobe, Flash: The Future Is Tomorrow


thumb_300_adobe-flashWell, I just got into San Francisco where I will be attending the Adobe Android Summit, the culmination of the company’s work to bring their Flash platform to mobile devices. Try as hard as he may, tomorrow morning will prove that Steve Jobs wasn’t single handedly able to kill off the service that has become engrained in the world of internet video, games, and interactive websites when he refused to allow it on his precious iPhone. That was when Adobe forged ahead, forming a partnership with Google that will not only see Android as the first platform to support full Flash 10.1 on a mobile device, but also led to involvement in their next big project — Google TV.

If you are one of the lucky to have Froyo and already get a chance to play around with the beta of Flash 10.1, you will probably agree that the service translates quite well to the mobile world. Sure, much of the Flash content we experience isn’t quite optimized for mobile, but it opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Sorry Steve, we just can’t agree with you on this one. Maybe Flash carries some inherent flaws, but I’d sure rather at least have the option to use it rather than not at all.

Flash for Android comes out of beta August 18th, but don’t think Adobe doesn’t have much more in store when it comes to teaming up with Google and moving into the mobile space. Tomorrow will present an excellent opportunity to speak one-on-one with some of the movers and shakers behind Adobe’s mobile work, so we want to hear from you. What burning questions do you have about the past, present, and future of Flash 10.1 for mobile? What about Adobe’s work with Google TV? Sound off in the comments below with all of your questions, thoughts, concerns, rants, and ramblings, and I will be sure to peruse your responses carefully and then proceed to pick the brains of the Adobe crew, reporting back with all that I learn.

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. Flash vide chat app? Flash gaming? Marvel comics reader?

  2. Not just the Flash platform, but also the Adobe Air platform has proven to have a strong dev support. Look at TweetDeck for desktop for example. It’s completely done in Adobe Air. Adobe will be giving Air support to Android too which will attract not only Flash developers, but Adobe Air developers too. The more the better.

  3. (Adobe Flash + Android) – (iPhone/0) = ahhhhhhhh OMG I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!

  4. i truly do feel that way.

  5. When will Google just purchase Adobe and integrate it in its products?

  6. I’m an Android user and a fan to the core. Never owned an iPhone and never will. Sorry, but I’m with Jobs on this one. Flash is terrible and it makes the mobile experience worse. We’d be much better off if it died and all that content was moved to a better format.

    Why is that scrolling any Web page around on my Nexus One is smooth as butter, but as soon as you add a touch of Flash content it jitters and stutters like an old jalopy? Adobe just can’t seem to write a flash renderer that doesn’t suck. They’ve been trying for about 15 years. A modern browser can do just about anything that Flash can, so there’s just no excuse.

  7. I love Flash on my Nexus one but Flash 9 on the N900 had better control because the N900’s browser has mouse control and would like for Android to have feature like that. Flash games are a pain to play without mouse/pointer option on the Nexus One

  8. I want to know what they are going to do to optimize it and make it more secure.

  9. I am pretty sure I have heard about an Adobe solution to convert flash games/apps to an iOS format. Apple, however, eventually banned app submissions that originated from that particular framework.

    It would be interesting to see such conversion possibilities but towards Android.
    I think it would cut the development time and encourage developpers to reach a new market with more ease.

  10. Will Adobe make standard features that make flash rendering optional – like Firefox’s Flash Block extension – to help save battery life? Just because I click a link to a site doesn’t mean I want an ad or video which may be embedded in it without my prior knowledge to peg my mobile CPU.

  11. It’s about choice! If I want flash on my phone, I should be able to have flash.

  12. @heulenwolf,

    flash is already optional via android. there is an option to automatically download flash content or chose to load the content independently.

  13. I got the froyo and flash 10.1 on my droid 1

    Watching flash on the droid isn’t as good as I thought it would be lol things run slow and it semms to burden the proc.

  14. When will Adobe make Flash an open standard, so somebody can write a decent Flash plugin? The advantage that Apple has in this respect, with their closed ecosystem, is they can keep the ugly stuff out. With a (mostly) open ecosystem like Android, you just can’t build those walls, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, with “open” you can still get “ugly”.

    (Of course, the same question can be asked of the handset vendors: who’s going to be the first to make a truly and fully open handset with Android?)

  15. I had flash on my droid and can’t wait for it on my X. And for those complaining, you can turn off the automatic loading of flash in the browser. Jobs is an idiot, I agree. He was wrong about the dumb antenna design on the iFlop 4 and he is wrong about flash.

  16. i am patiently waiting for the vibrant to upgrade to 2.2, so i can have flash 10.1 on my phone. as for jobs… didn’t apple fire him?

  17. As long as it can be turned off. Its rare to see a fast running flash app. Just look at the inline videos that play in flash vs the youtube plugin ver. The flash in line ver runs significantly slower.

  18. Flash is great for the content it can provide. but flash on a mobile web page does slow it down alot. The user should be given the option to load the flash they want. By clicking on the image representing the flash advert, video, game, or other. That would stop the web page from having to load all flash at the opening of the page and from it interfering with the operation or navigation of the page.

  19. For those who complain about flash … please do me a favor and shut up.. it works well even though it was not even made for mobile devices with touch screens… it works great actually.. i can stream a lot of content and even have the option to have it enabled only when I click on a flash plugin… I don’t see what the big deal is or why people complain for something they aren’t forced to download

  20. It just seems that the mobile internet is still lagging behind the internet we experience regularly. Flash is the beginning to closing that gap, but there’s apparently a long way to go. Maybe this is more of mobile issue as opposed to a Flash issue.

  21. @jose; The title of the article is Android, Adobe, Flash: The Future Is Tomorrow. I think the point people are making is Flash is most likely Not the future. So, its not so good for Android to make such a big deal about it. Its so slow most people will turn it off. Hardly a feature Android should be bragging about.

  22. I’m sorry, but the whole tone of this post is childish and immature. Google knows as well as anyone that makes their living developing for the web that Flash is bad for the web. It served an important role in allowing developers to push forward when standards and browsers were lagging behind, but today even IE 9 has decent standards support, making consistent cross-browser designs is easier than ever, and Javascript and HTML are doing everything that Flash once did, and they are doing it better, for users, and developers. Apple and the iphone already killed Flash in the mobile space, and it is dieing on the desktop too. Adobe may want to keep denying it, but that is the truth. In all honesty, my guess is that Google has teamed up with Adobe as of late for the good press, and because they are aware that it’s too late for flash to seriously screw anything up anyway.

  23. I smell iFanboys defending their master ;) Flash is still a great part of the internet and will be for a long time. Now should we :

    a) Not have an option of using it if we wanted and not to go flash-sites?


    b) Use it when we wanted and to be able to browse the full internetz?

    Are you frigging kidding me!?

  24. I think that most everything Flash, is, “cheap.” By cheap… I mean compared to other technologies it just works, looks, and acts cheap. That is the problem with Flash.

    However, the streaming capabilites it currently provides, are its’ reedeeming quality. Like others have already written, you can “opt-in” with the Flash use, so no big deal if you don’t want it… I think everyone will enjoy the streaming capabilites though; isn’t that really what everyone wants Flash on mobile for anyway (Hulu, ESPN, etc.)???

    My question for them would be; How are you going to make Flash not “cheap” when it comes to anything but using its’ capabilites for streaming? I doubt there will be any good answer to that, but that’s OK, because I don’t expect too much from Flash, never have… there’s a long history of annoying Flash ads, cruddy Flash games and utilities (ie. Flash based Internet speed tests…).

  25. Personally, I want to know when Adobe’s going to get around to releasing a 64bit version of flash for linux, they released a beta about a year ago (great) then abandoned it (not-so-great). So now I can run flash on my phone but not my desktop computer.


  26. Can flash developers compile flash apps and games for direct submission to the android market? That would be cool! I know that adobe did this for iPhone apps in cs5 before apple shut it down with their t&cs ..

  27. Flash video chatt? something like skype video chatt

  28. Flash runs quite well on my HTC Desire. Nearly every video states that it is not optimized for mobile, and plays very poorly. I had Flash Lite on before my upgrade to 2.2, and although not all video played, what did play was smooth. Are developers going to have to re-code everything and optimise there code for mobile? If so can’t see many doing that!

    The stock browser needs to have a quick toggle for Flash On / Flash Off/

    I am more excited for Adobe Air though.

  29. Flash on Android is awesome, and quite smooth on my Desire. If I’m somewhere away from home and feel like watching an episode of $TVSeries, I just Google it and 30 seconds later, I’m streaming the episode from some random site.

    Oh, and in combination with Orb Mycast, ist’s incredibly awesome. Streaming all my movies (even HD material, transcoded on the fly by my server at home) and TV episodes right to the browser… freakin awesome.

    As for performance – on my Desire (stock speeds), it’s incredible – On par with full desktop Flash on Win7 on my old Thinkpad X41Tablet (1.5GHz Pentium M 758 with 2 gigs of RAM). Even the intricate Flash games on Facebook (my girlfriend plays them constantly) are more or less smooth.

    However, Flash does have a downside: I now use about 20x the bandwidth I used before. :p

  30. Well what can I say…like most have stated flash has been known to be hella slow on computers….so that makes me wonder what’s it going to be like for Android…I welcome it while I scratch my chin…

  31. Well i seem to be one of the many few users who is on 2.2 and using it. If you were able to use Flash on your phone you would know that you can switch off the automatic loading.

    I have to say i love being able to have flash on my phone. So much of my life on the internet is used by watching videos (that aren’t just youtube), or listening to music from fantastic blog sites. Now i can basically do what i do all day on my handset.

    Yes it’s jittery, Yes being able to control the navigation options or even audio options are pretty much non-existent or just damn difficult to pull off. But this is the first incarnation and i fully stand behind it. Flash has been here for a very long time, allowing users all over the world, to create interactive internet content. To create comic type animated cartoons, to create games.

    Obviously i would like to see an improvement on the playback (though right now when it works it works reaaally well and smooth).

    I would like improvements on being able to control the content that im streaming, such as being able to fiddle with the audio controls easier or scrub through the time line. At the moment it is unbearable. For now i live with it.

    I am also interested to find out how they feel about the development of Googles API experiments and if this is something they wish to see integrated more into the mobile browsing. Also if they can come up with any positives from it, from a mobile hardware level, so basically things they think we might see in the future from Googles API experiemtns…(if that makes any sense.

    HTML 5 is a cool idea, but with flash its a toolset that anyone can pick up. That is why i am interested in the app inventor, to see what might come out of this. I already have some ideas on improvements i would like to make to apps.

  32. @dave get the iphone and be without the option and tell us andriod user how you like it not being an option on the device. APPLE WHORE trying to be an android purist.

  33. Flash isn’t pleasant often enough for me to want it any more. I’m glad other options are being explored by web devs.

  34. i’m more confused by “Android, Adobe, Flash: The Future Is Tomorrow” – well yeah. The future isn’t yesterday.

  35. It’s just a start after a short period of time adobe will optimize it better and will continue to improve it. Probably within a year it will rock and apple products will just seem like old radios and all will see the huge mistake it was for apple to just run away from flash

  36. I’m very disappointed to see that the post I made last night has been removed, presumably because the author did not agree with my opinions. It’s a shame, because I provided the most reasonable argument thus far. With that said, the only point I wish to reiterate my sadness that Android community authors continue to enviously lash out at Apple and Jobs, rather than writing mature and thoughtful content about Android.

    The author’s removal of my post highlights this immaturity and childishness. The Android platform is most proud off its position of openness, how odd is it to find an author writing about this platform who can’t even accept open discourse.

  37. I retract my last comment. My initial comment was not displayed when I wrote it, it must have been moderated. My apologies to the author.

  38. I like where flash is headed personally. Sure there’s some wrinkles to be ironed out. I only view it on sites I know it runs smooth on or you can opt to send the vid to another app for viewing(youtube, downloader). I wouldn’t mind the option for the Flash built in 2.1 as in option either until 10.1 is more efficient. Bye-bye Skyfire!

  39. I consistently find authors who talk bad of Flash have little to no professional experience in web development. As soon as you begin arguing that Web plugins are better than HTML/JS/CSS or vice versa and that the other tools should “die” yiu really expose your lack of understanding that more options is better. Not every project should utilize web plugins, but some definitely should.

  40. Very immature article. Its like the Fox News of Android. Instead of just bashing Jobs & iPhone users, how about we write some real content. As much as I dislike Apple’s dev & App Store policies, no one can deny that they innovated in the mobile space. If it weren’t for the competition with iOS, Android devices wouldn’t be as advanced as they are today. For some people iOS is a good choice, for people like us, it’s Android. Learn to use what works for you and stop bashing others’ choices.

    Now about Flash. It isn’t great in its mobile form, but its THERE and that’s what matters. If you don’t want it then don’t install it, easy as that. You can even have it load on demand only! I do agree with others that Flash is slowly dieing, but it isn’t dead yet. There are better alternatives like HTML5 & so on, but until Flash does die, content will still use it, and people will still want it! Once it dies, this will be a non-issue, but until then it’s important to have the choice.

  41. I’m going to bash Jobs & iPhone users until the day Apple decides they will no longer produce the iPhone in a slave factory in communist China.

  42. @Vu Huynh
    Reading comprehension problems much? I said I don’t want an iPhone. I love my Nexus One and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I even have Flash installed on it, and use it occasionally. That said, the experience sucks. Anyone who denies the suckiness of the experience is deluding themselves. Those saying it’s going to get much better, too. It’s been 15 years and Flash can still bring desktops to their knees. You think another six months or year of development will fix those problems?

    The Web would be a better place if Flash died and all of that content was moved to a superior format.

  43. html5 is not the future. The bottom line is that Adobe has the tools to design websites while html5 advocates think that everyone uses notepad to create compelling websites. With html5, you also have to worry if IE doesn’t implement the features correctly. Flash? No problem. Design once and it will be the same whether you are using IE or firefox or any other browser.

  44. Some “open developers” like to use technologies that follow open standards, why? very simple: the patented and propietary technologies like Flash, only can be transformed by engineers from one unique enterprise (Adobe), but open standards are open to be implemented and evolved for everyone want it :)), i prefer HTML5 but Microsoft don’t, so they block/refuse HTML5 implementation on its propietary products like Internet Explorer, another closed/monopolistic step :(, Google need to offer products, like Android, compatibles with actual technologies like Flash, but Chromium are fully compatible with HTML5 :), then, in my opinion ¡the future is HTML5! or another open technologies ;)

  45. I think Steve Jobs have some kinds of interests…, is possible to implement a “Open” Flash, why Apple don’t promote this? Html5 is one standard option, but is designed for computers and not iPads…, this need some of adjustments to execute animations fine in its…

    one specialist says the following about it:
    “The reason all of those web apps are so horrible is because they were built for a computer not the ipad. and there isn’t delta timing in the animations, wich is possible in javascript.”

  46. Sounds great for ‘Gamers’, but what about business and SEO?

    Will Google be able to read Flash on a site or will they continue to ignore it as they have done with JavaScript?

  47. Smart FLV Converter lets me convert flash animations to video in any format I want. It is really easy to use. Try it!

  48. Why would anyone need flash 10 now?!!
    ALL websites use flash 9.4 or earlier.
    The N900 already runs flash 9.4: (10.1 is beta still)

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