Yet another awesome announcement made during the Adobe MAX 2008, San Francisco conference was the Adobe Flash Lite 3.1 Distributable Player for developers to distribute over-the-air (OTA) along with their content. This means, an end user will no longer need to check for the presence of Flash Lite on their handsets. The content itself (when installed as a .SIS or .CAB file) will check for the player version, download and install it using network connectivity. It couldn’t get simpler than this.
“Flash Lite 3.1 has the same functionalities as Flash Lite 3.0, such as support for Flash Player compatible video, with some enhancements including improved security model for SWF file access. Please note that at this time h.264 video is not supported. Adobe’s goal is always to provide the latest version of Flash Lite for over-the-air (OTA) download through the distributable player solution. Flash Lite 3.1 Distributable Player will work on supported S60 and Windows Mobile devices. The Distributable Player is integrated with Adobe AppZone.”
Currently this is supported on limited devices, namely the S60 3rd Edition, 3rd Edition feature pack 1, 3rd Edition feature pack 2, Windows Mobile 5 for Smartphones, WM6 Standard and Professional platforms (check the complete list).
Flash Lite has evolved greatly over time making way for bigger and better opportunities for development. Beginning with version 1.0 to version 3.1, Flash Lite has come a long way. And demoed recently during MAX 2008 in San Francisco was the actual Flash Player 10 (not subset) on the Symbian OS, Windows Mobile and the Android.
Symbian and WiMo are platforms that Flash Lite developers have worked on in the past, so having the complete Flash 10 functionality working on mobiles will be only be a boon. However I still am skeptical with a couple of questions like
will the Flash 10 player on mobiles support the complete AS3 API including the 3D Effects, Custom Filters, Advanced Text etc,
would the player be implemented in a browser, standalone and the others,
will it support backward compatibility with Flash Lite version etc.
I guess we’d know this, as more information will be made available by Adobe with the player development.
But what took the cake for me was the announcement of supporting Flash on the Android platform. It is great because Adobe is realizing its goal of supporting Flash on so many different platforms, thus escalating the Open Screen Project to a success. Adobe demoed on the the Android G1 features like full zooming, panning and interactivity, which means the users saw a whole segment of web content typically inaccessible to mobile browsers till now.
Of course like the other platforms Adobe did not provide a proper release date for this too, but the very fact that their developers had a demo to showcase during MAX leads us to believe Flash on Android will be a solid reality in the very near future.
So as Kevin Lynch said “We need to start thinking mobile first, rather than as an adjunct to the big screen experience… “, which is so true..Cheers to Flash on Mobiles.