Smartphones to Get Flash 10.1 Soon
One of the biggest obstacles preventing smartphones from becoming truly connected is the lack of Flash support. Flash, a software-plugin for Web browsers, drives the majority of videos, animations and interactive elements in Web pages, and most phones can't see any of it. Adobe, the maker of Flash, has finally given a tentative date for when all that will change.
Flash 10.1 will bring universal Flash compatibility to Android, WebOS and Windows Mobile phones some time in the first half of this year. Adobe is supposed to send out the Flash update over the air, meaning phones should download it automatically without needing to connect to another device or computer. It's still unclear whether Adobe will send out the update or if carriers are responsible for sending it out to phones.
Owners of Android-based phones might be disappointed to hear that Flash 10.1 will only work with the most recent version of Android (version 2.1). That means that the Motorola DROID and the Google Nexus One are the only current phones that will be compatible. Other Android 2.1 phones are coming, though. iPhone and iPad users still won't be able to use Flash either.
Even with a wide rollout on those phone operating systems, Adobe estimates Flash will only be available on 53 percent of smartphones by 2012.
Good news for those planning to buy a tablet computer: Flash 10.1 should work with many of them, including devices running the NVIDIA Tegra 2 and Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, two of the most popular microchips for upcoming tablets.