Company Looks to Bring Flash to Google Android
BSquare is looking to bring full Adobe Flash technology to the Google Android operating system. If this happens and the company does manage to port Flash to Android, it would give the new mobile OS a leg up on Microsoft Windows Mobile and the Apple iPhone.BSquare has announced it will port Adobe's Flash technology onto the Google Android mobile operating system for a global Tier 1 carrier.
Adobe Flash technology currently ships on more than 800 million devices, and is used to build video and rich-media applications. If full Flash technology does come to Android first, it would give the new mobile OS a leg up compared with some of the competition.
For example, the Apple iPhone does not have Flash, although Adobe has announced plans to bring Flash to the Research In Motion BlackBerry. The Symbian and Windows Mobile platform use Flash Lite right now.
"They're advancing the capabilities of the platform-adding some goodness, in a sense, where it wasn't there before," said John Spooner, a senior analyst with Technology Business Research.
"You really need to have Flash if you're going to be browsing the Web, and here you have one player in the ecosystem claiming you can use Flash with their technology."
Google introduced the Android mobile OS, which is based on Linux, at the Open Handset Alliance in November 2007, a consortium devoted to advancing open standards on mobile devices. In September 2008, T-Mobile became the first carrier to release an Android-based smartphone, the G1 by HTC.
A G2 is said to be in the works, and at the 2009 Mobile World Congress, HTC announced plans to release three more versions of the HTC Magic, another smartphone powered by Android. Samsung and Motorola also announced intentions of releasing handsets with the Android OS.
In February, Android faced criticism for security vulnerabilities, but Charles Miller, the "professional hacker" who first issued a security warning, later back-pedaled, saying the vulnerability wasn't as serious as he first thought.
Research firm Strategy Analytics expects Google's Android to claim 12 percent of global smartphone shipments market share by 2012. And other Android-based devices, such as netbooks, are expected to join the market.
"I think Android is more of a consumer play at this point," said Spooner. "But people are looking for an alternative to Windows Mobile, and [the Apple iPhone]. One's hard to use, and one tends to be expensive."
Beating out those two, he said, is the whole reason for creating Android.