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:
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.