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The most significant announcement coming out of the Adobe MAX conference this week is their push into the smart phone space. Adobe's new Flash Player 10.1 runs Flash video, animation and applications on smart phones with similar quality to their renderings on the desktop. This is a full version of Flash player that works in mobile, netbook, desktop, and Web TV environments. Flash 10.1 accomplishes this through an automatic 50% reduction in RAM footprint and more frugal power consumption.
Adobe worked closely with mobile phone software and hardware players to make this possible. Notably, Nokia with Symbian and Microsoft with its Windows phone, as well as Google's Android and RIM's Blackberry.
“The widespread adoption of Flash 10.1 among mobile manufacturers, combined with its reduced memory demands, will put pressure on Apple to support a Flash plug-in for the iPhone,” said Howard Kiewe, senior research analyst for Info-Tech Research Group. “So far Apple has protected its iPhone app market by not supporting Flash or Java plug-ins.”
But Adobe isn't waiting for Apple's support, they have brought Flash to the iPhone by adding the ability to compile an iPhone app using a pre-release version of Flash Professional CS5. Developers will need to take the time to port their apps one by one to the iPhone before they are readily available to the end user. Some web apps have already been ported by developers, mostly games like South Park and Red Hood, and they are available now at the Apple App Store.
“Developers can now gain additional revenue streams by converting Flash apps to the iPhone, while Apple will continue to make their cut, and Adobe's position in the tool market will be further strengthened,” stated Kiewe.
Other features of Flash Player 10.1 include HTTP streaming, content protection, and peer-networking assistance. Beta versions of Flash Player 10.1 and Flash Professional CS5 will be available later this year.