Android News

HTC Hero has Flash pre-loaded; other Android phones getting Flash later this year

June 24, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka

Android, Android News

HTC Hero has Flash pre-loaded; other Android phones getting Flash later this year

The HTC Hero will come with Flash pre-installed to go along with its eye-catching “Scene” user interface. Heavily-hyped among Android fans and officially announceded today, the HTC Hero is not only the first Android device to feature a heavily customized interface, but also the first to ship with Adobe Flash support.

Adobe participated in the development of the HTC Hero and confirmed that Flash will be integrated into the device platform, ensuring that it gains as much of the desktop experience as possible.

“Adobe and our partners in the Open Screen Project believe in bringing the full web to all screens,” said Mark Doherty, an Adobe platform evangelist who spoke with Androinica.com. “Android users will experience a rich and more complete web experience.”

FLASH VIDEO IN BROWSER

Flash is the backbone of 80% of video streamed onto the web, including popular sites like YouTube, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. Android users, who previously were limited to video broadcast in the default YouTube application, will be able to obtain Flash content from other sources. Double tapping the multi-touch screen of the HTC Hero will launch video, games, and applications on the web in full-screen.

Adobe’s is currently working on getting Flash to current Android device owners later this year. Doherty revealed that the company’s goal is to have it delivered in in an over-the-air update. According to comments made by Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, the Flash 10 beta will become available in October 2009.

Many wondered why Android had not gained Flash support earlier after a video showcased the T-Mobile G1 playing Flash content. Doherty said that video dealt with an early build of Flash that wasn’t complete; features such as video were not functional.

“To deliver Flash to devices as users would expect, we will need to enable plugin installation to the platform,” said Doherty. “We’ll see that in the future of course and for now the best experience is available built-in [to the Hero].”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

  • Flash on Android could potentially provide some interesting third party features. For instance, some have suggested Skype video conferencing could be done in Flash. A future device with the right firmware and camera set-up could support such a feature. Among other things, developers will be able to incorporate Flash into apps because Android applications can have web views embedded.
  • Flash on Android will mirror Flash on a desktop. The mobile-optimized Flash player set for Android can handle 80% of content available online. Applications with Actionscript 3.0 or some advanced features may present some problems, but the device will make an attempt to play the content when possible.
  • Adobe will continue to support Android. According to Doherty, Adobe would like to see a full Flash Player and Adobe AIR ship on Android devices in 2010. The company is working with other Open Screen Project members to make that happen, and have plans to build more Android applications.