Google Supporting Flash in Android 2.2: 10 Possible Outcomes

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-08-11 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

News Analysis: Flash is making its way to Android 2.2. And with it come a number of market responses that could make or break both Adobe and Android. Here are 10 of them, for good or ill.

Adobe's Flash platform is making its way to more Android-based devices, thanks to Android 2.2. For those that have criticized Apple for not allowing Flash onto iOS, the advent of Flash on Android 2.2 is a good thing. According to these Flash supporters, it will substantially improve the browsing experience on smartphones.

But not everyone sees that way. Some say that Flash is little more than a security hole that will cause more trouble than it's worth. While these people would like to watch the vast majority of videos and games that aren't capable of being displayed on an iPhone, they believe that Apple's influence will help make HTML 5 the go-to service in the coming years. To them, Flash means little.

Given the many differences in opinions on the viability of Flash, it becomes clear that there are several potential outcomes of its presence in the mobile market once all is said and done. It might be an outright failure, or it could be a success that forces Apple to pay attention.

Let's take a look at some possible outcomes of Google offering Flash in Android 2.2.

1. Adobe wins

There is a chance that Adobe could have been right all along, and by offering Flash on Android it can prove that the mobile market is ready for its service. For a while, Adobe has been saying that it has what it takes to succeed in the mobile world. And it's been Apple that has claimed Flash still isn't ready. If Flash works well, consumers like it, and there aren't any security problems, Adobe will win that debate and make Apple look bad.

2. Security issues erupt

Apple has said time and again that part of the problem with Flash is that it causes  security issues for any platform it's running on. That has been one of the main reasons Apple has opted against Flash on iOS. So far, Flash has been untested in the mobile market. If, over time, Android starts seeing security issues because of Flash, Apple will be proven right and Adobe will be in trouble. For its part, Adobe says Flash won't cause any security problems. But, only time will tell.

3. Consumers don't care

There is a real chance that Android 2.2's addition of Flash will be lost on consumers. The technology might be desired by some who don't like the browsing experience on the iPhone, but, given the popularity of Apple's smartphone, it doesn't seem all that big of a problem for most owners of the device. It's possible that some consumers won't care that Google has added Flash to its new operating system. They will find out about it, go to a few sites to see how it works, and move on. If that happens, all the debate over Adobe's service will mean little.

4. Consumers expect it in every phone

At the same time, consumers might be happy to see Flash come to Android once they start surfing to all the many sites they currently can't access on an iPhone. They might get their hands on an Android 2.2-based device, load up all the sites they never could before, and fall in love with mobile Chrome. After all, Google has been saying that, with the help of Flash, Android provides the best browsing experience in the mobile market. Maybe it will be true.



 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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