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Finally, Full Flash for Mobile, Not Lite

Posted by Charles | February 26, 2009 .

Adobe announced during the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 16, that a fully-featured Flash 10 player would soon be available for a number of smartphones in 2010, as reported by CNet. The smartphones will be deployed with the “real” Flash 10 include Windows Mobile, Android (oh ya) and Symbian.

But, no iPhone. “We would love to see it on the iPhone, too,” Adobe’s director of Technology Strategy and Partner Development Anup Murarka told conference-goers. “But it’s Apple’s decision on when and how they support any new technology. So we will continue to work on it.” I’m wondering how long Mr. Jobs can stand without boarding the flashing train.

We’ve been complaining about the lack of real Flash on mobile for a long time. Now by getting rid of Flash Lite (as a consequence), all Flash and Flex/AIR developer all of sudden climb on the “platform-of-future”, mobile. But realistically, I doubt Flex/AIR SDK will just work on the mobile devices. I think Flex/AIR developers are still in the waiting state to look up to Adobe comes up a mobile SDK. I’d be surprised if a thing like that is not in Adobe’s product pipe line. Can’t wait RIA for mobile becomes reality.

In addition, the mobile battle field is getting more interesting with this announcement. The well deployed J2ME platform will be in serious competition. With all those creative Flash designers and game developers rushing onto the mobile devices, the J2ME will be immediately in an awkward situation. It’ll be interesting too to see how Yahoo and Google react to it when Flash 10 on mobile is available. They both rely on J2ME for their mobile applications. By the way, is JavaFX still in the game?

Moreover, can this really be the full Flash 10 on mobile? That’s not clear. The fact is that Flash needs good sizeable memory to be flashing. I can’t imagine without trimming and tweaking how Flash 10 can reasonably perform well on the memory merger devices.

The last thought goes to Silverlight. Wondering how soon Microsoft will be able to make the first splash with Silverlight on its Windows Mobile? Or does Microsoft need Silverlight for Windows Mobile at all? In a way, not really. But they do need to put Silverlight on Symbian, maybe Android and iPhone if they could. We’ll see.

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