Adobe Launching Flash For Android - InformationWeek
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01:27 PM

Adobe Launching Flash For Android

The announcement came on the heels of Apple's letter defending its ban on Flash for the iPhone and iPad.

Adobe, which has stopped developing its ubiquitous Flash multimedia player for the Apple iPhone, says it will release in June a new version of the software for competing smartphones running Google's Android operating system.

Kevin Lynch, chief technology officer for Adobe, announced the release schedule late Thursday, just hours after Apple chief executive Steve Jobs posted an open letter defending the company's Flash ban as driven by the poor performance of Adobe's technology on mobile devices. The one-time close partners have become combatants, with Adobe defending Flash for use beyond the PC and Apple saying emerging Web technologies, particularly HTML5, are far better alternatives.

Lynch said in the company's blog that Adobe would release the new Flash Player 10.1 for Android phones as a public preview at the Google I/O conference May 19-20 in San Francisco. The general release is expected in June.

"From that point on, an ever increasing number and variety of powerful, Flash-enabled devices will be arriving which we hope will provide a great landscape of choice," Lynch said in a thinly veiled dig at Apple.

Apple is preparing to release this summer iPhone OS 4.0 and has included in the contractual language pertaining to outside developers a ban on applications created with Adobe's software.

In response, Adobe plans to take Flash to every competitor of the iPhone, including Android phones, Research in Motion's BlackBerry, Palm (which is soon to be owned by Hewlett-Packard), Nokia smartphones, and others. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen called Jobs' technical objections to Flash a "smokescreen."

Indeed, Jobs' acknowledged that his objections with Flash were more than technical. The Apple co-founder said he didn't want a third-party software maker between developers and Apple's platform.

If Flash was allowed, then developers would be building for Flash, and not directly for Apple's OS. As a result, the developers may not be able to access new Apple OS features until Adobe got around to supporting them, Jobs said.

"We know from painful experience that letting a third-party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform," Jobs said.

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