March 11, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
The Motorola Xoom tablet launched without Adobe Flash video, but Adobe and Verizon promised that it would arrive soon. The “soon” turns out to be next week since Adobe announced today that Flash 10.2 will work on the Xoom beginning March 18.
Motorola began is sending out a preliminary update that prepares the Motorola Xoom for Flash compatibility. Adobe added today that Flash 10.2 would arrive in the Android Market next Friday with key features. There will be hardware acceleration for H.264, a popular video codec, that will ensure Flash plays smoothly. Xoom owners will also get deeper integration with the Android browser rendering engine, which will improve scrolling and rendering of web content when Flash is present. Finally, you’ll also get enhanced performance that is optimized for the new Tegra 2 dual-core chipsets. Graphics and Adobe Flash video content will look better, and Flash will consume less power.
Android 3.0 will be required to take full advantage of these new features, meaning only the Motorola Xoom will see the full effect of the upgrade. However, Flash-enabled Android phones like the Atrix 4G and LG Optimus 2X will also see a bump in performance. These phones share the same Tegra 2 chipset as the Xoom and will be able to access Flash games and videos smoothly.
Adobe promises that Flash 10.2 will be a better experience in all areas. The new version will be more integrated with the Android browser and be optimized for touchscreens. It’s an important step for Adobe Flash, which has been called everything from buggy to resource-intensive, and Google Android tablets, currently the only platform with official Flash support. As seen in our iPad vs. Android tablet comparison, Flash is a key advantage for Honeycomb; it can’t arrive on the Xoom soon enough.