Adobe slips mobile Flash Player 10.1 to second half of 2010

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
After mounting an intense attack on Apple for not supporting Flash on its iPhone OS mobile devices, Adobe has admitted that it will not be able to ship its promised Flash Player 10.1 for mobile platforms until the second half of the year.



Adobe's Flash Player 10.1 has been widely publicized as being the first version of the company's runtime that will enable mobile devices to play most of the Flash content originally designed for playback within web browsers running on the PC desktop.



The new 10.1 version was initially targeted at Android and Palm's webOS, with developer preview editions released over the last few months. Adobe has since committed to also supporting RIM's Blackberry OS, Symbian, and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, which is slated for release this winter.



The company originally intended to release Flash 10.1 in the second half of 2009 (as depicted in the timeline below), then the first half of 2010. The latest slip now makes the release a year late. Despite its problems in delivering a real version of Flash for mobile devices, Adobe executives are seeking to pin the blame on Apple for not even wanting to wait for Adobe and its promised mobile Flash runtimes.



Engadget reports that Adobe's chief executive Shantanu Narayen told Fox Business that Apple's disinterest in bundling the upcoming Flash Player on the iPhone OS was a business rather then technology decision, and that it "hurts customers," even though his company hasn't ever shipped a full mobile version of Flash for any platform that actually works with the broad array of Flash content users might want to view.







There is no mobile version of Flash



Existing mobiles that say they run Flash really only support old versions of the runtime (such as Sony's PlayStation Portable, which runs Flash 6 from 2002, or the legacy Palm OS, which runs a very old version of Flash 5 from a decade ago) or Adobe's "Flash Lite," a version that does not even aspire to playback the same content as desktop versions (it is based on Flash 8 from 2005). Symbian and Windows Mobile are limited to Flash Lite playback.



Adobe's problems in delivering a real version of Flash for mobile platforms is complicated by the fact that most Flash content is not well suited to play on a small screen, and particularly not in a multitouch environment where desktop browser conventions of a mouse pointer and mouseover events are simply not present.



Flash is also hampered by the memory and processor limitations inherent in mobile devices. The upcoming 10.1 version of Flash for mobile devices will demand a fast Cortex A8 processor, which means it won't run on anything but the highest-end Android, Palm, Blackberry, and Symbian phones sold over the last several months. Even if Apple wanted to bundle Flash 10.1, it would only minimally work on the iPhone 3GS and newer products.



In February, Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs reportedly told executives from the Wall Street Journal that Flash was a CPU hog riddled with security holes and dismissed his interest in working with Adobe to fix Flash playback in saying, "we don't spend a lot of energy on old technology."



Adobe's inability to ship Flash Player 10.1 on schedule means that the company's current 0% share of the mobile market will continue through the second half of the year. The fact that more than half of the world's mobile web traffic is originating on devices running Apple's iPhone OS also means that Adobe won't gain more than a minority share of the mobile market even once it actually ships its first functional version of Flash for mobiles.



This is in stark contrast to the 96% installed base Adobe claims for Flash on desktop PCs. With mobile devices becoming an increasingly important way for content creators and advertisers to reach people, the fact that they simply can't currently do that using Flash is a serious problem for Adobe right now and into the near future.



Competition for Flash



Adobe also hopes to get Flash Player installed in tablet devices running Android and Chrome OS later this year in order to head off a similar issue with Apple's iPad, which will similarly not run Flash. If Flash becomes the primary way to deliver dynamic content, games, and apps for Android, it will frustrate Google from being able to build a competitive native platform that can attract custom mobile development. It will also impede Google's ability to push HTML5 as the preferred way to deliver applications on its upcoming Chrome OS.



In addition to facing competitive pressure from Apple's App Store and its viable business model as a market for third party developer's content and games, Adobe is also scrambling to make Flash competitive with the emerging HTML5, which enables web developers to deliver rich apps and multimedia playback without resorting to an external plugin.



Flash also faces threats from Microsoft's Silverlight. While Silverlight is currently confined (like Flash) to the PC desktop as a web browser plugin, Microsoft hopes to rapidly push its Flash-alternative platform into its mobile devices, making Silverlight the primary way to create apps for Windows Phone and Zune.



Like Google, Microsoft is currently pushing Flash as a competitive feature checkbox, apparently in an effort to create the impression that Flash is important to browsing the web on mobile devices, and that Apple's iPhone OS users are therefore missing out. Once Microsoft delivers a mobile version of Silverlight, its commitment to Flash could evaporate quickly however.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 101
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,614member
    And Adobe is chastising Apple for not supporting a yet-to-be-released product? Epic Fail...
  • Reply 2 of 101
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    idiots
  • Reply 3 of 101
    emulatoremulator Posts: 251member
    Excellent, another unbiased AI news story.
  • Reply 4 of 101
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
  • Reply 5 of 101
    Flash has more than 0% mobile coverage, just because 10.x isn't out yet for mobile doesn't mean Flash is not supported.



    For example the Nokia N900 has Flash 9.x and definitely can access any usual Flash sites, such as Disney content. YouTube plays natively as Flash too. Definitely usable and broadens access a lot.



    This article makes it sound like 10.x is somehow a requirement for all Flash content. Much of the content out there is already supported on many mobile devices.



    Apple could easily support the same level of Flash as N900/Maemo does, if they wish. Please, good arguments are one thing, but let's not make it sound like Flash isn't available for mobile.



    It is available, it is usable and I use it daily.
  • Reply 6 of 101
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gerbera View Post


    Flash has more than 0% mobile coverage, just because 10.x isn't out yet for mobile doesn't mean Flash is not supported.



    For example the Nokia N900 has Flash 9.x and definitely can access any usual Flash sites, such as Disney content. YouTube plays natively as Flash too. Definitely usable and broadens access a lot.



    This article makes it sound like 10.x is somehow a requirement for all Flash content. Much of the content out there is already supported on many mobile devices.



    Apple could easily support the same level of Flash as N900/Maemo does, if they wish. Please, good arguments are one thing, but let's not make it sound like Flash isn't available for mobile.



    It is available, it is usable and I use it daily.



    Just curious: What kind of battery life does the Nokia N900 get when using Flash via its browser and YouTube? Also, what is the watt-hour rating of the battery in N900?
  • Reply 7 of 101
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mark2005 View Post


    Just curious: What kind of battery life does the Nokia N900 get when using Flash via its browser and YouTube? Also, do the watt-hour rating of the battery in N900?



    Flash is just a small part of the overall experience, so no idea - but overall I charge every night or every other night but the latter is usually pushing it.
  • Reply 8 of 101
    tofinotofino Posts: 697member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gerbera View Post


    Flash is just a small part of the overall experience, so no idea - but overall I charge every night or every other night but the latter is usually pushing it.



    not even an anecdotal answer?
  • Reply 9 of 101
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gerbera View Post


    Flash has more than 0% mobile coverage, just because 10.x isn't out yet for mobile doesn't mean Flash is not supported.



    For example the Nokia N900 has Flash 9.x and definitely can access any usual Flash sites, such as Disney content. YouTube plays natively as Flash too. Definitely usable and broadens access a lot.



    This article makes it sound like 10.x is somehow a requirement for all Flash content. Much of the content out there is already supported on many mobile devices.



    Apple could easily support the same level of Flash as N900/Maemo does, if they wish. Please, good arguments are one thing, but let's not make it sound like Flash isn't available for mobile.



    It is available, it is usable and I use it daily.



    Flash to play YouTube videos instead of a dedicated player or HTML5 on an ARM-based device? I like my battery power and I like to use a quality ≥ 360p so Flash for YouTube is not the best option.



    If Flash is so great on Maemo why did Mozilla disable it in Firefox Mobile when that would have been a great selling point? Performance?



    Which phone plays Hulu and other sites that stream TV shows on Flash? All the ones I know of require Flash 10.x or greater and without Flash 10.1's HW acceleration there is absolutely no chance that this will even work on a Cortex-A8, much less slower ARM-based devices.



    The fact is, this is not Apple's fault, this is Adobe's fault. We can speculate that if not for Apple's stance to not support Flash Lite, Adobe would not be as far as they are today with Flash 10.1 for mobiles. Credit also goes to MS' Silverlight for making Adobe try to compete on a different front. Adobe got lazy from a lack of competition and now they are paying for it dearly. This year we'll see a lot of video streaming sites move to HTML5 and dedicated players for mobiles, just like we've been seeing. Flash will no longer gain traction with streaming video sites.
  • Reply 10 of 101
    stormjstormj Posts: 42member
    The fact you even have to write this article means that Apple could be doing a better job at PR. I didn't realize this and I tried to find Flash for my sister's Android phone. It makes this whole Flash whine ridiculous. How could it be on the iPad, when it's not even out yet!



    Lame.
  • Reply 11 of 101
    tofinotofino Posts: 697member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gerbera View Post


    Flash is just a small part of the overall experience, so no idea - but overall I charge every night or every other night but the latter is usually pushing it.



    just a quick google search shows complaints about the N900's battery life even without being linked to flash. i guess it's not much of a bragging point, and most likely to be aggravated by flash. i have to wonder if 'small part of the overall experience' is a euphemism for 'problem'.



    the good news: there seems to be a flash blocker for maemo!
  • Reply 12 of 101
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tofino View Post


    just a quick google search shows complaints about the N900's battery life even without being linked to flash. i guess it's not much of a bragging point, and most likely to be aggravated by flash. i have to wonder if 'small part of the overall experience' is a euphemism for 'problem'.



    the good news: there seems to be a flash blocker for maemo!



    I think that is probably why Adobe has delayed it again. I've seen demos of 10.1 working on the Nexus One. The speed looks good for Flash games and sites, but the power usage and lack of video playback are deal breakers for users. If Adobe releases this without adequately tackling these things then everything Apple has been saying since 2007 will have been proved right by Adobe's own hand. The Flash cheerleaders will no longer have the "just wait and see" argument to fall back on. They have one shot to get this right or risk losing Flash to better, more efficient options for the foreseeable future.
  • Reply 13 of 101
    oomuoomu Posts: 128member
    Seems Adobe simply is waiting the miracle new cpus and phones from the future (so, in 6 month )



    I named that the "Windows 7 man?uvre"
  • Reply 14 of 101
    tofinotofino Posts: 697member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I think that is probably why Adobe has delayed it again. I've seen demos of 10.1 working on the Nexus One. The speed looks good for Flash games and sites, but the power usage and lack of video playback are deal breakers for users. If Adobe releases this without adequately tackling these things then everything Apple has been saying since 2007 will have been proved right by Adobe's own hand. The Flash cheerleaders will no longer have the "just wait and see" argument to fall back on. They have one shot to get this right or risk losing Flash to better, more efficient options for the foreseeable future.



    i think we're already past the point of no return. it almost seems like adobe is waiting for more powerful phones and a breakthrough in battery technology to make flash feasible on mobiles.
  • Reply 15 of 101
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gerbera View Post


    Flash has more than 0% mobile coverage, just because 10.x isn't out yet for mobile doesn't mean Flash is not supported.



    For example the Nokia N900 has Flash 9.x and definitely can access any usual Flash sites, such as Disney content. YouTube plays natively as Flash too. Definitely usable and broadens access a lot.



    This article makes it sound like 10.x is somehow a requirement for all Flash content. Much of the content out the

    re is already supported on many mobile devices.



    Apple could easily support the same level of Flash as N900/Maemo does, if they wish. Please, good arguments are one thing, but let's not make it sound like Flash isn't available for mobile.



    It is available, it is usable and I use it daily.







    Imho, Let S.Jobs be S.Jobs or just go out and start your oun company. PS Name is Lemon Inc.
  • Reply 16 of 101
    Ya know...



    I can remember Adobe from the LaserWriter days... had friends who worked for them... they (Adobe) were good guys...



    I can remember MacroMedia from the Marc Canter days, before Flash. They were good guys, too. I even enjoyed early Flash.





    <opinion>



    It appears that time has moved on, and it is likely that Flash has been left behind:



    -- the future is mobile... if only based on millions of potential users.



    -- By the time (if ever) Adobe delivers a viable mobile Flash solution there will be over 100 million smart mobile devices, all happily surfing the web, playing/streaming content and never missing Flash... (never looking back).



    -- I suspect most of the significant content-deliverers will implement solutions using HTML5 (in addition to their current Flash solutions)... they've already started, and it will only snowball as these people clamor to reach this new marketplace of millions of targeted, qualified customers.





    Oddly, this puts Adobe in the catbird seat. They could spearhead the delivery of services, tools and procedures to:



    -- migrate existing Flash to HTML5



    -- maintain compatibility to legacy Flash sites.



    Adobe could develop and sell a Boffo IDE/SDK and lead the pack of "providers of interactive-content delivery" using open-source standards.



    Are they agile enough... we shall see!



    </opinion>



    .
  • Reply 17 of 101
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by oomu View Post


    Seems Adobe simply is waiting the miracle new cpus and phones from the future (so, in 6 month )



    I named that the "Windows 7 manœuvre"



    Is that anything like horse maneuver



    .
  • Reply 18 of 101
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tofino View Post


    i think we're already past the point of no return. it almost seems like adobe is waiting for more powerful phones and a breakthrough in battery technology to make flash feasible on mobiles.



    They might be. The demo videos of Flash 10.1 seem to all be on the Nexus One. By the time Flash 10.1 goes live it might just before Cortex-A9, bypassing A8 altogether. It certainly doesn't look like any ARM11 will get Flash 10.1, but it's still all Apple's fault.
  • Reply 19 of 101
    2stepbay2stepbay Posts: 111member
    Die Baby Die!
  • Reply 20 of 101
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I think that is probably why Adobe has delayed it again. I've seen demos of 10.1 working on the Nexus One. The speed looks good for Flash games and sites, but the power usage and lack of video playback are deal breakers for users. If Adobe releases this without adequately tackling these things then everything Apple has been saying since 2007 will have been proved right by Adobe's own hand. The Flash cheerleaders will no longer have the "just wait and see" argument to fall back on. They have one shot to get this right or risk losing Flash to better, more efficient options for the foreseeable future.



    If Adobe can't ship a decently-performing mobile version for Flash on at least one major smartphone OS by the end of this calendar year, I think their window of opportunity will be gone.



    The onus is entirely on Adobe to get it done. Time is running out.
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