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:

Flash and AIR Momentum from Mobile World Congress 2011

We’re stirring up Flash Platform buzz at Mobile World Congress (MWC) this week by announcing strong mobile adoption of Flash Player and Adobe AIR, plus performance enhancements with Flash Player 10.2 to benefit developers and content publishers. Some highlights:

  • AIR applications can now be deployed to more than 84 million smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS.
  • Thousands of applications have been created and made available on Android Market and Apple’s App Store to date. For examples of popular AIR applications for Android check out m.flash.com.
  • Over 20 million smartphones were shipped or upgraded with Flash Player 10.1 on more than 35 certified devices in the first six months following the launch.
  • With more than 6 million downloads to date and more than 150,000 users giving it a 4.5-out-of-5 star rating, Flash Player is one of the top free apps on the Android Market.

Also, Flash Player 10.2 is now available for Mac, Windows and Linux users with several performance enhancements. The biggest feature of this release is support for Stage Video, which offers much improved video performance by optimizing hardware acceleration on desktops, mobile devices and TVs. Test results show up to 80 percent CPU savings when playing back video in 1080p on Windows and Mac OS—and existing H.264 video content on the Web will benefit from Stage Video without any changes to the content. Stage Video support for mobile devices will be available on Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” and BlackBerry Tablet OS.

Adobe also announced that leading global publishers, like National Geographic, Dennis Publishing, Martha Stewart Living and Condé Nast, are using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite tools to create and distribute their magazines and newspapers on Android tablets. The Content Viewer for Android is available now for publishing customers through the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite pre-release program.

Flash Platform developments don’t stop at MWC – the year ahead looks bright:

  • By the end of 2011, Adobe expects more than 200 million smartphones and tablets to support Adobe AIR applications.
  • For 2011, the company expects Flash Player to be supported on more than 132 million units worldwide.
  • More than 50 tablets are expected to support Flash Player this year alone.
  • Using Creative Suite 5 tools, over 3 million Flash Platform developers can create content across many devices for both Flash Player and AIR.

Watch David Wadhwani, senior vice president, discuss Flash Player and AIR momentum in 2011:

Watch Danny Winokur, vice president, discuss Flash Player 10.2 including Stage Video and performance updates, and upcoming 3D functionality:

Are you in Barcelona at MWC, and taking video you’d like to share? Send us an e-mail and maybe we‘ll cut it into our highlight reel.

Our partners are busy with the Flash Platform as well. Check back this week for links to some of their news…