updated 08:45 am EDT, Thu May 1, 2008
Adobe Open Screen Projecta
Adobe this morning announced the Open Screen Project, an initiative that will derestrict some of the formatting behind Flash (and ultimately AIR) animation with mobile devices. The change will eventually remove limits on using normal SWF files as well as videos in F4V or FLV, and will see Adobe publish both the porting layer for Flash and the Flash Cast protocol. The move is aimed at helping developers scale the format down to handhelds, including cellphones and larger Mobile Internet Devices; it also establishes a more consistent web experience beyond the computer, according to Adobe.
The software developer also intends to drop the licensing fees for using Flash and AIR on portable devices to spur growth among developers.
Several companies have already signed on to the project, including both hardware manufacturers and content creators; support includes chipset makers ARM, Intel, and Qualcomm, as well as phone designers Motorola, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and Toshiba. Software-level developers such as the BBC and NBC Universal, as well as carriers NTT DoCoMo and Verizon Wireless, are also described as onboard.
The effort is expected to significantly expand the use of Flash on cellphones in particular. Phones such as some Nokia Nseries devices already use Flash Lite, but a variety in processors and software environments often prevents widespread adoption of the near-standard web format.