Adobe Flash 10.1 for Mobile

Adobe is working on Flash 10.1, which is a version that's finally supposed to suck less -- battery power and cpu cycles, that is. Meaning, it might just be a contender to finally bring acceptable performance to mobile clients like the iPhone sometime in 2010, even if everyone BUT Apple has signed on at this point.

Back up: since the iPhone debuted with the first mobile web client that actually rendered "just the internet", some users have clamored for Flash. And why now? They were used to that also being on "just the internet". However, the iPhone was still a mobile device and Flash is still notorious for bloat, bugs, and otherwise non-Mobile friendly behavior (and no, we won't mention the increased attack vectors runtimes bring to the table, nor the privacy concerns over Flash-cookies, again, okay?)

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Steve Jobs himself famously blamed Adobe for having a desktop version that was too big, and a Lite version that didn't really work, and said Adobe was missing a middle version that would be "just right".

Well, Flash 10.1 might just be that mythical middle-ground, using the GPU to hardware accelerate it's video. About time. Included as well will be multi-touch and gesture support.

This all ties into Adobe's Open Screen project, whose aim it is to make Flash the platform for dynamic web content on mobile, something Adobe really wants and everyone from competing renderers like Microsoft's SilverLight, to truly open web advocates aren't nearly as interested in. Apple, thus far, has been heavily investing in WebKit and technologies like HTML 5, CSS, and JavaScript, which can obviate the need for Flash in many of the place it's (arguably wrongly) being used today. Likewise, H.264 has brought YouTube, Ustream, Stickam, and other video platforms to the iPhone without Flash wrappers, and HTTP Live Streaming will take that further still.

This has no-doubt been noticed by Adobe, and factored into making Flash 10.1 a much better product. Apple, however, is the last major holdout to announce support (or even interest in) Flash 10.1.

There are still some users who are desperate to get Flash on their iPhone (and NO, not just for porn vidz!), and equally vocal users who consider the iPhone a blissful oasis from the fan noise, heat, drain, slowdown, and punching monkey ad-banners Flash has traditionally brought with it. Of course, Flash is a runtime and a development platform -- and Adobe is showing off Flash-developed games -- so one major question will be whether Apple is interested in fragmenting their App Store ecosystem beyond the simple WebApps that currently exist.

Check out for a video of the new Adobe Flash 10.1 beta running on the Palm Pre, then come back and tell us what you want.

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