Flash support in Android 2.2 piles pressure on Apple
The inclusion of native Flash in the newly-unveiled Android 2.2 smartphone platform has put further pressure on Apple’s iPhone, according to analysts.
Apple is in a Mexican stand-off with Flash maker Adobe and has steadfastly refused to include the video-friendly format in the iPhone. Google plans to take full advantage.
“Given the battle between Adobe and Apple about the use of Flash, this is a big part of this announcement,” said Geoff Blaber, director of devices and software platforms at analyst firm CSS insight. “People are going to see a big improvement in browsing with the Flash 10.1 software supported in Android.”
People are going to see a big improvement in browsing with the Flash 10.1 software supported in Android
Not only that, but content providers now have an easier way to distribute their wares to various different platforms through one application. “Adobe announced the Open Screen project a couple of years ago and with Flash 10.1 this is the first visible sign of real progress that the platform can bring content to TVs, PCs and high-end phones using the same technology,” said Blaber.
However, not all Android handsets are set to benefit. “Given the various price points of Andoid phones, not all will support Flash 10.1,” Blaber warned. “It will only be the more expensive ones.”
The inclusion of Flash in Android is a significant indicator of the differences between the Apple and wider technology industry, which is much more open about sharing development platforms.
“Flash is not the only method of providing video content, and of course Apple prefers HTML5,” said Blaber. “What we’re seeing – not just with Android, but also with the smart TV from Google – is the likes of Google, Adobe and Sony taking a collaborative approach to convergence, which is very different to Apple’s controlled approach.”
Sales of Android handsets are closing the gap on the iPhone as more manufacturers release smartphones based on the operating system. Handsets based on 2.2 are expected later this year.