Adobe Bringing Flash Player 10 to Smart Phones

Adobe is working to deliver full Flash Player 10 technology to smart phones, including Windows Mobile devices, Symbian OS-powered devices and Google Android phones. And the company remains hopeful regarding the iPhone and BlackBerry. Kevin Lynch, Adobe's CTO, demonstrated Flash Player 10 running on Windows Mobile, Symbian and Android at the Adobe MAX 2008 developer conference.

SAN FRANCISCO-Adobe, which has been working on Flash Player 10 for smart phones, demonstrated at its Adobe MAX 2008 conference here the technology running on a series of phones, including a Windows Mobile device.

"The rate of Web browsing has grown significantly on phones, and we're doing Flash Player 10 for smart phones," said Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch, at the company's conference for its users and developers. "We're not done yet, but we have a few different devices running Flash Player 10."

The first device Lynch demonstrated was a Nokia phone running the Symbian OS with Flash Player 10 on it. The second device that had Flash Player 10 running on it was an HTC phone with an Opera browser and Windows Mobile as the operating system. Lynch demonstrated a YouTube video running on the phone via the Flash player.

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During his demonstration, Lynch picked an iPhone up out of a baking pan that, as part of the presentation, was supposed to be hot to signify the "hotness" of phones purporting support for Flash Player 10 and said: "This one needs a little more baking. And we do need to pass the taste test of Apple's head chef, but we're working on that."

Lynch also picked up a G1 Google phone from T-Mobile running the Android platform and showed Flash Player 10 running on the Android OS.

"We have had very good progress on Google G1 with Flash Player 10," Lynch said.

Regarding the Flash Player 10 demo on the G1, "the performance looked pretty good," said Andy Rubin, director of mobile platforms at Google and founder of the Android project. "Cell phones today are as powerful as PCs were five years ago. Google did Android to give a better Internet experience on all phones. And seeing Flash Player 10 running across different platforms just warms my heart. Because that's exactly what we built Android for."

Lynch said that although Adobe is moving to get the full power of Flash Player 10 on smart phones, the company will continue to work on and deliver Flash Lite. As its name implies, Flash Lite is a lightweight version of the Adobe Flash Player. Yet, having the full-blown Flash Player on the device makes it easier to display and manipulate Flash content.

What is new with Flash Lite is that Adobe is "aiming to create a system where you can package your applications and deploy them on smart phones," Lynch said. "And if you don't have Flash Lite on your phone, it [a Flash service] will detect that and install Flash Lite onto your phone," much like Adobe does with Flash on the desktop when users try to access content from a Web site and they do not have the Flash Player on their PC, he said.

Adobe already is ahead of schedule regarding its plans to get Flash onto smart phones, according to Lynch. He said Adobe set a goal of reaching 100 million Flash-enabled phones by 2010, but the company is on track to meet that goal in 2009.

"I hope someday we'll be able to get Flash Player on [Research In Motion's] BlackBerry," added Lynch, who said the company is working on doing just that.

Lynch said Adobe is also working on bringing its Adobe AIR technology to mobile phones.

On the desktop, Adobe is able to update its technology from one version to the next in nine months, according to Lynch. Adobe claims Flash has more than 90 percent penetration on PCs throughout the world, and it achieves that by delivering more than 10 million downloads of Flash each day, he said.