updated 10:45 am EST, Fri March 11, 2011
Adobe sets Flash 10.2 for Android on March 18
Adobe on Friday morning said it would launch Flash 10.2 for Android devices on March 18. Both Android 3.0 tablets like the Xoom, as well as Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices, should get the release at the same time. The Android 3.0 version is a beta release but will also get special treatment.
Owners of the Xoom and future 3.0 tablets will see pages rendered directly in the website itself rather than layered over top. The approach greatly improves scrolling, especially when mixed with animated GIF images and other more complicated content.
All devices will get much improved performance through hardware acceleration and multi-core support, especially dual-core devices like the Xoom, the Atrix 4G and the Optimus 2X.
Adobe hasn't said how soon it expected the finished version of Flash for Android 3.0, but it did expect the completed edition to come preloaded on future tablets. Phones would get 10.2 as well.
The update has yet to be tested in earnest but could be the first instance of Flash getting better credibility and challenging Apple claims of performance that led to its being excluded from iOS. The speed should be enough to avoid the relatively frequent slowdowns seen on the Galaxy Tab and other devices that had to rely solely on the main processor, and often just one core, to draw Flash.
Some questions still remain in the air regarding Flash, including its stability, loading time and battery life.