Flash Coming To Smartphones In October

Jun 23, 2009 (10:06 AM EDT)

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Consumers may soon be able to access sites like YouTube and Hulu directly from the mobile browsers because Adobe said Flash is coming to some smartphones in October.

Adobe's Flash technology is nearly ubiquitous around the Web but is often considered too resource intensive for smartphones. The company said in February it's committed to bringing the full version to Google's Android, Microsoft's Windows Mobile, Nokia's S60 Symbian, and Palm's webOS.

"We are bringing Flash Player 10 to smartphone-class devices to enable the latest Web browsing experience," Adobe CEO Shantanu Naraye said during an investor call. "Multiple partners have already received early versions of this release and we expect to release a beta version for developers at our MAX Conference in October."

The move could open up tens of millions of devices for Flash developers and content creators, as well as give consumers a richer mobile Internet experience. Adobe has created the Open Screen Project to help it achieve its goal of creating a standard platform that can be used on desktops, mobile phones, and other devices.

The two major players missing from the list are Research In Motion's BlackBerry and Apple's iPhone. Adobe said it has been working with RIM, but they aren't far enough to announce anything. The iPhone is another matter altogether, and Flash may never wind up on Apple's touch-screen smartphone.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has said Flash is not good enough for the iPhone because of its resource requirements. Some industry watchers also believe having Flash could potentially detract from the App Store because developers could decide to just create content with Adobe's technology. Additionally, Apple appears to be placing some bets that HTML 5 can provide iPhone users with Flash-like capabilities like video streaming.

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