MWC 2011 and Flash Platform: Good Progress and Good Performance

With Mobile World Congress coming to a close in Barcelona, we are seeing tremendous momentum for the Flash Platform runtimes on mobile devices. It’s incredibly exciting to see, touch and play with all the latest devices that our ecosystem partners are announcing and launching this year, including tablets like the Motorola XOOM, RIM Blackberry PlayBook and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S II, Sony Ericsson Xperia pro and neo and the five new Android smartphones from HTC. With beautiful web content for Flash Player and rich apps built with AIR, these devices highlight the wide adoption of both the Flash Player and AIR, especially since the former has only been available for about 6 months and AIR has only been available for a little more than 3 months!

While the momentum has been astonishing, there are still some questions on how Flash Player is performing on mobile devices. Tim Siglin, an editor at Streaming Media and co-founder of Transitions, Inc., wanted to find out for himself and published his findings in his whitepaper Performance or Penalty – Assessing Flash Player 10.1 Impact on Android Handsets. It is an in-depth look at the performance of Flash Player on a number of mobile devices, and the results may surprise you. Key highlights from the whitepaper include:

  • For the vast majority of video content delivered for Flash Player on mobile devices, performance is equivalent to the full frame rate experience on desktop. This is a huge improvement vs. video played back on previous devices.
  • The most significant factors impacting mobile battery life for video playback, for both Flash Player and the native device player, is appropriate video encoding and optimization.
  • There is minimal, if any, impact on mobile device battery life with Flash Player, even with multiple apps running.
  • All web content, running in Flash Player or not, consume battery power at consistent rates over WiFi in the native browser.
  • GPS, 3G and other resources on a phone consume more power than Flash Player, including when highly interactive content is viewed.
  • Flash Player 10.1 performance was 350% better than equivalent content in HTML, running an average of 24 frames per second for Flash Player 10.1 and 7 fps for HTML.

These initial findings support the positive feedback we have seen from users on Android Market where there have been over 6M downloads, 150K ratings resulting in a 4.5 out of 5.0 stars for Flash Player. Here are a few additional new devices that were announced yesterday at Mobile World Congress that are supporting the Flash Platform runtimes:

10 leading CEOs discuss the Open Screen Project and Flash

CEOs from ARM, Broadcom, DoCoMo, Google, HTC, Motorola, NVIDIA, Palm, QUALCOMM, and RIM talk about how they’re bringing Flash Platform technologies to their devices and platforms as part of the Open Screen Project and why they think it’s important to have Flash on their devices and platforms.

Google joins the Open Screen Project

Recently you probably noticed that I’ve been working on Android a little, and for good reason of course.  Though it would be easy to focus this post on Android, let’s just look at some of the places where Google use Flash today.

  • Youtube
  • Google Maps
  • Site Search
  • Web Search
  • Chrome / OS

So you see Flash is everywhere at Google and we’ve been working together for years to build upon this relationship.  Google joining the Open Screen Project may seem like a matter of course given our demo’s last year and given their investments in the Flash Platform.

In the past few months we’ve seen stellar device launches from HTC and Motorola using Android.  Those of you with beady eyes will also have spotted others from Sony Ericsson and “others” coming down the pipe soon.

I want ALL of them, but might stick to the Hero for now.

Oh, in case they’re watching.  Dear HTC, please fix the SSL certificates for Exchange email eh?

Google Team, welcome to the Open Screen Project