Don't like browsing the Web on your mobile device because you can't stand missing all the video content that doesn't work on mobile phones? Adobe is looking to change that with a new and improved version of its Flash Lite product.Yesterday at 3GSM in Barcelona, Adobe announced that it will add support for video in the next generation of its Flash Lite software for mobile phones. Called Flash Lite 3, Adobe is promising it will be available sometime in the first half of 2007.
If we are to believe the bluster, Adobe's news release says that, "Video support in Flash Lite will revolutionize the way users engage with mobile content and open up new revenue opportunities for developers worldwide." I don't know if it will be quite that successful, but it definitely has the potential to make mobile browsing a richer, more enjoyable experience.
Let's look at a for-instance. You're zooming around the Net on a nice 3G-enabled smartphone and you want to stop off at YouTube.com to watch a video that your friend posted. Right now, that's a no-go. It doesn't work (for more reasons than lack of mobile video support, but that's for another post). In theory, the new and improved Flash Lite 3 would let you view the content there, as well as other Flash-enabled, video-rich sites such as MySpace. (True, the experience also depends on your network speeds, connection strength, and how fast your device is, but we'll ignore all that for now.)
Adobe says the new version will support all the same video formats in its regular Flash Player, as well as video streams delivered by its Flash Media Server. Users will be able to watch downloadable video clips, streaming videos, applications with Flash-based UIs, or personalized content.
Important for developers, it will run on Symbian S60 (v2 and v3), Qualcomm's Brew and Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0, and other OEM-specific platforms. This allows for consistent delivery of the content across operating systems. Hopefully, Adobe will be adding support for Palm OS, Windows Mobile 6.0, BlackBerry OS, and other Java-based UIs in the somewhat near future.
This isn't exactly earth-shattering news for the enterprise. The only use I can envision right now is the ability for field workers to watch instructional videos or demonstrations from the field. I'm sure something else will come to mind when I have another cup of coffee.