Today we announced with our partners HTC that we’ve extended Adobe® Flash® to the Android platform for the first time. We really excited to finally enable rich web browsing to the open source Android platform, and particularly to such a great smartphone. As a top of the range device it sports multi-touch HVGA, accelerometers, GPS, Compass, WIFI, a 5MP Camera and the incredible Android Webkit Browser. With Flash the web browsing experience on the device is fantastic, rich and gives you access to a more complete Internet.
What will Flash on Android do for me as a user?
If you’re a user of the HTC Hero you’ll be able to view much of the available online video, of which 85% is played through Flash Player. In this mobile optimized runtime we also have support for streaming audio, and with it’s Actionscript 2.0 support we believe that you can view around 80% of the Flash content on the web today.
You’ll be able to interact with games and rich Internet sites, widgets and of course the HTC Hero is a touch device with a huge HVGA (320×480 px) screen. As a nice addition, you can run Flash content in full screen simply by double tapping on it in the browser. As Flash is scalable you’ll find that this works exceptionally well, and the experience is really solid.
In the near future we’ll be shipping full Flash Player on the Android platform, enabling the richest possible web experiences. Android is a fantastic open platform for users to consume content under your terms, happy Flashing!
I’m a developer, what does this mean for me?
As part of this announcement HTC has announced their membership in the Open Screen Project, an industry initiative led by Adobe. HTC and Adobe will work together with 25 other industry leaders to deliver the full Flash Player on a huge range of devices and platforms moving forward. As a developer this should give you some indication of the level of support that we’re seeing for the initiative. We’re really happy to see an industry leader such as HTC commit to delivering a consistent Flash Platform on their devices, and working with us for a more consistent web experience on devices.
There is no doubt that HTC have been shipping some of the most stunning devices available today, they led the charge with the first Android platform device the G1. For you as a developer this translates to significant sales to end users, and an opportunity for content distribution as the platform and devices scale. HTC reaches deep into the US, European and Asian markets and in fact we support many of their Windows Mobile smartphones with the Distributable Player which is now available in 29 countries (and counting).
As you’ve read above this device ships with Flash in the browser as a plugin, but it is accessible for immersive full screen playback. Distribution through content aggregators such as Playoo, GetJar and GamesPlaza should work really well and naturally. Another potential opportunity is to use the Android WebView class, which is essentially a way to create air like applications that use webkit. Don’t bank on this though, but do tell me if you get it to work
To read more, and see the new device in action go here.