Adobe has secured relationships with all remaining mobile platform makers to bring its full Flash capabilities to every smartphone on the market, except of course for the iPhone.
Securing deals with the likes of Research in Motion, Palm, Windows Mobile and Google, Adobe plans to roll out Flash technology for Windows Mobile and Palm’s WebOS platforms “later this year,” release public betas for Google’s Android and the Symbian OS “early next year” and finally bring Flash to Blackberry devices on an “undisclosed date.”
Though Flash has been available on select mobile platforms for a while under the term “Flash Lite,” it’s always been a scaled back version due to the limited processing power of most devices. The new release of Flash for mobile that’s intended to be introduced on (almost) every smartphone available is version 10.1- designed to be “one piece of software that works across PCs, smartphones, netbooks and other devices.”
Because devices have significantly improved in terms of processing power, full-out Flash capabilities that are normally seen on the traditional Web are now available on mobile devices. This is significant because it will easily bring tons of content already developed for the Web to mobile all at once, meaning content that was once only available as a mobile app on only a few platforms will now be available on the mobile Web across all platforms.
In theory, it would negate the need for many mobile applications, such as games, to exist when Flash is available in the mobile browser- which is a major reason Apple has kept Flash off the iPhone for so long. Potentially, Flash will be able to interact with consumers directly through the phone’s browser, eliminating the headache of porting apps to each platform and then finding different ways to distribute them.
While typically, browsers don’t offer as rich of an experience as applications, Adobe is promising an “app-like” experience in the browser. For example, Adobe says Flash Player 10.1 will support iPhone-like features, including multi-touch, gestures, accelerometer and screen orientation. It’s easy to understand why Apple would be afraid of this technology– it has the potential to cripple its App store at its core.
Whatever the case may be concerning the iPhone, Adobe is on the right track with its 10.1 version of Flash and its ambitious approach to make its technology ubiquitous across all devices. Of course, this is also significant to mobile advertisers given the fact that Flash is a major tool in both Online and mobile advertising endeavors. Further reach with any given technology means more opportunities to use it as a marketing tool, and that’s exactly what Flash is continuing to do.