back to article Flash bursts onto Android

Adobe has launched a final version of Flash 10.1 for Android, so iPhone users can now officially feel left out, though they'll be in good company for a while yet. Android users running version 2.2 will be able to download Flash 10.1 from the Android Marketplace, but everyone else will have to wait as Adobe is expecting …


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  1. Andrew Moore
    Jobs Horns

    I think I understand Apple's ban of Flash...

    It's all about money. A friend was showing me some of the Apps he had purchased for his iPhone- Everyone of them were available as free Flash applications for non-iPhone users. He got stroppy when I pointed out to him that the rest of the world gets for free what Apple users have to pay for.

    1. aThingOrTwo

      But they don't

      Because up until today, Flash wasn't officially available in a final form for any mobile device.

      And now it's on Android 2.2 Froyo — how many devices have that right now?

      This isn't a burst, it's more like a trickle.

      Unrelated, but my bet is that unfortunately the Palm Pre will never get flash because the hardware is simply not powerful enough and Adobe have Palm have sold Palm and its user base down the river.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        All modern Symbian phones run Flash Lite, Lie is an older version with less features but still supports the majority of flash content as it doesn't use the newer features. Flash 10.1 for mobile is an upgrade not a new thing.

      2. Baudwalk

        Not enough power?

        "Palm Pre will never get flash because the hardware is simply not powerful enough"

        Neither is my N800, but that didn't stop them shoehorning Flash into the poor thing.

        Why? I've no idea. It's not like you could actually watch Youtube clips on it, unless all you want to watch are two frames per second Anime clips.

        1. aThingOrTwo

          It gets better… 2.2 isn't even out yet

          I had update as it gets better.

          With all the hype whipped up over Android 2.2 I made the foolish mistake of thinking it was ready and had actually been released.

          But it appears Flash 10.1 is dependent on Froyo 2.2 and as “the Android team is feverishly working to get a final version out the door”* the “opportunity to lord it over iPhone users” looks like something that will have to wait a little longer.

          * Source:

          The news management of this Flash thing by Adobe is spectacular. That iPhone which that screenshot came from probably will never be capable of running the behemoth of middleware which is Flash.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            #It gets better

            >With all the hype whipped up over Android 2.2 I made the foolish mistake of thinking it was ready and had actually been released.

            I've been running it on my N1 for well over a month - earlier builds and SDK have been available for very much longer - most of the payload is actually dated November 09.

  2. MadMonkOfFunk

    Flash a-ah....

    Flash - a-ah - saviour of the universe.

    Flash - a-ah - he'll save everyone of us!

    Enough said.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      you missed..

      But I only have 14 hours battery life to save the world.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        14 hours? More like 14 minutes...


  3. Conrad Longmore

    Oh goody..

    Oh goody.. I can look forward to Flash-borne malware on my Android phone too.

    I'm not a big Apple fan (hence I have a Milestone rather than an iPhone) but Flash really needs to die, and if Apple can help it to its grave, then good bloody riddance.

    1. os2baba

      It's on Demand by default

      It's turned off by default and you can turn it on for the videos you want to see. So it acts like FlashBlocker on Firefox. Best of both worlds. It's there when you need it and doesn't consume any resources when you don't. Once again - Choice, which is a dirty word for Apple.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        " you can turn it on for the videos you want to see"

        Flash for video. Who knew?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Oh goody..."

      Craig Longmore: "Oh goody.. I can look forward to Flash-borne malware on my Android phone too."

      Don't want Flash on your phone? Then *don't fucking install it*! Unlike the fruitphone owners you DO have a choice.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @vomit head

        You don't have a choice if you're running anything other 2.2, but at least you were able to slide a dig in about Apple. Nice one.

        So, who are you going to blame for anything not 2.2? What's their fucking excuse?

        1. Alastair 7


          "So, who are you going to blame for anything not 2.2? What's their fucking excuse?"

          'Why not?'

          All Android devices are capable of running 2.2, so why develop for an already dead version?

          Sure, some manufacturers are dragging their feet in providing upgrades, but that's their own stupid fault. One of the great reasons to go with a stock ROM with no custom UI tweaks- I get the upgrades instantly.

          1. Walt French

            Thanks for reminding us: Android Is Not Android

            The article said that Flash has “burst” onto Android. It probably meant the expression positively, versus the breaking of a colostomy bag. And yet, the great majority of Android phones now in the wild will not get Froyo for weeks, if ever.

            This is Choice® for HTC to sell you a replacement phone to the one you bought a year ago; Open® in that the world is 100% dependent on Adobe's schedule and capabilities for installing Flash on devices. How many ordinary people expect that when they went into the Verizon store and bought a Droid, that they'd be completely in the dark about capabiliities that were supposedly "supported": even the just-released DroidX ships without Flash.

            Google's geniuses have shown a remarkable disinterest in little issues like customer service, patches for security issues, bugfixes, driver corrections, you know, all the stuff that differentiates a nice meal at a restaurant from a can of beans in a homeless encampment.

            PS to the author: “The threat of embedded Flash competing … will ensure that Apple never allows Adobe's technology unrestricted access to iOS devices. … But no one else has anything to lose by supporting Flash and the rare opportunity to lord it over iPhone users is something everyone can appreciate.”

            Does this mean that no other provider is going to have an interest in an app store for its users? That's grim news for developers who might hope to write real apps for those stores. Or do you mean that the absence of Full Flash on all but a handful of the nearly half-billion smartphones is because of (bogus) technical reasons, since all would LOVE to one-up Apple? Where is it then?

  4. Mark Sourbutts

    Why o why did you need to turn this good news for Android users...

    into another opportunity to have a dig at Apple. El Reg is rapidly turning into the Sun equivalent of a tech website. The headlines on the site have started to have no relation to the content of the article.

    I was hoping for a detailed report on what Flash on Android was capable of. Instead all I get is trash reporting and another dig at Apple.

    I am pretty sure that the Android users out there would prefer a detailed report about Flash for Android as well. They must be sick of articles about their phone OS of choice being cluttered with petty digs at Apple.


    1. Anonymous Coward

      new here?

      Over my many years reading El Reg, I have come to love how they can take good news for one company and turn it into a reason to tear into another. This is nothing new and they don't just pick on Apple.

      Given that Apple has banned El Reg for years from US and UK events, are never sent review kit and rarely get official statements from Apple (except a random take down notice here and there), I am pleased with how El Reg takes them to task. They have never been scared of a playground bully be it Apple, Microsoft, Sun, etc.....

      The Register: Biting the hand that feeds IT.

    2. Gilbo
      Thumb Up

      IT Bum Fight

      You not noticed that for the last couple of years both the Reg and Inq have largely obtained page impressions by pitting large portions of their customer base against each other?

      Facts? Detail? Good Lord, I mainly visit these sites now to skim a vitriolic article or two and spent the remaining 95% of the time with a bowl of popcorn reading the resulting slagging mach that occurs in the comments section.

  5. Scottie Taylor

    Now we play the waiting game...

    Now we have to wait for Motorola/Verizon to roll out the 2.2 update for us. Yes, I'm aware I could just root my Droid and do it myself but I'm hoping that they'll roll out the update here soon so I won't have to.

  6. Jim Coleman
    Thumb Up


    Resource, memory & CPU hog? Maybe. Defacto Internet standard? Possibly.

    Nice to have the OPTION of using it though eh?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      @Jim Coalman

      Yeah, nice for the subset of all mobile users out there have handsets with 2.2 on them, and for the future ones that have hardware capable of running 2.2 (whenever they are lucky enough to get upgraded). What a big group that is.

      Ubiquitous - is that the word?

      1. Anonymous Coward


        "Yeah, nice for the subset of all mobile users out there have handsets with 2.2 on them, and for the future ones that have hardware capable of running 2.2 (whenever they are lucky enough to get upgraded)."

        Well actually ... "Google has confirmed that Android 2.2 (FroYo) will be available for ION phones, so it’s guaranteed that CM-6 will continue to support the G1 also when the source code hits AOSP."[1]

        So Google themselves have said the low-end HTC Magic (the 32B) supports Froyo, therefore, ***ALL*** Android phones released after the G1 are capable of running Froyo, and Cyanogen will kindly port it for the G1.

        "What a big group that is." ... Agreed.


  7. jubtastic1

    Don't forget to also install

    A flash blocker, for all those tasty flash ads you've been missing.

  8. Christopher Cowan
    IT Angle

    Battery life

    So where are the benchmarks for battery life? Does it run all flash sites on the web? Does it crash? Being a tech site thought there might be some technical angle as well as churning another press release.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    @Christopher Cowan

    Now, you should know better than to ask a reasonable question. The angle of the story is "Apple, bad!", not the fact that Flash has been released on a mobile device.

    Repeat after me, "Apple bad!"

    Now frame all questions within that context.

    Seriously, though, that's a great question, and it would be good to see someone report on that part. If you really do believe that Apple is bad, demonstrating the latest Flash on mobiles to be great will be the most efficient way to say, "APPLE IS FUCKING BAD!!" rather than these petty little jibes.

  10. Dwayne_Chapman

    O yeah

    I suggest everyone who wants the choice to be able to view flash video on the iPhone to go look up what a little app called Cloud Browse does. It is free, downloadable from the App store without jailbreaking, and guess what Bill Ray...myself nor anyone else who have downloaded it feel anything near "officially left out" not like we ever did before anyways though.

    I'd take the freedom of choice that iTunes gives me anyday over the freedom of choice Flash does.

    1. Bill Gould

      "freedom of choice that iTunes gives"


      Oh god. Thanks, I needed a laugh like that. Oh sweet buttery jeebus. Too much... hehe. Thanks again.

      1. Dwayne_Chapman


        Ok well name me 1 just 1 other piece of software on mobile devices that you can purchase tv shows, movies, and music as soon as released as on iTunes. Just 1 is all I'm asking. Ok so it's not free but surely non deadbeats don't mind paying a couple bucks for convenience right? You miss your favorite tv shows it'll likely be on iTunes before anywhere else and you can't download it to a droid nearly as easily now can you. Flash doesn't do that and it's source relies on the "cloud" which isn't always nearby especially on say something like a plane flight.

        So in summery we have iTunes: click the button to open the iTunes store, click download, content on the device.

        Flash: You can watch some things in some places but probably not full tv episodes or movies without either waiting ages for them to go up somewhere or terrible quality.

        Now you tell me which one gives freedom there smart guy?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          True enough....

          but I can VNC to my server, kick off a torrent and FTP to my Nexus, if I feel the need...or I can use iPlayer etc.

          But TBH I have better things to do than watch most of the dross on telly. Im slightly more discerning.

        2. alex dekker 1


          You obviously haven't used iPlayer then.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I look forward

    I look forward to many reports of batteries draining in seconds and pretty much every known flash-based website failing to work as intended, if at all. Flash based ads will no-doubt work flawlessly.

    "sorry you need to use the desktop version of flash to use this site" and so on.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    June 23rd...

    June 23rd is rumored to be when 2.2 hits the HTC Desire..

    All I can say is it better had!

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Err.. proving the point

    Doesn't the fact that you need a powerful enough phone point to the fact that Flash sucks?? No other arguement required. And yes, it is getting really really really really boring that EVERY mobile phone article turns into "Apple are bad". Seriously Reg and Apple haters, get a grip. If Android phones are so flippin great, fine, go buy one, use it and enjoy but leave the rest of the world to choose what they want to buy, whether thats Droid, Apple or even Windows, without acting like they are choosing to murder kittens.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Err.. proving the point

      Given Apple's smug marketing campaigns, and their supersmug fan base, WTF do you expect?

      It's called a 'Backlash' - try looking it up in a dictionary sometime.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        @AC re: smug

        Not smug (Apple or its fans), it's just that there exists an overly critical and hugely hypocritical Apple-hating group ready to pounce on anything to do with Apple, while ignoring every other company out there, including the ones whose pompons they own and wave around wildly and vigorously (ususually immediately following an attack on Apple).

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Pompom waving Apple haters?

          LOL, that's rich! When did the CEO of Nokia, or Motorola, last get a standing ovation for announcing a minor new product feature? When did you ever see anyone getting a round of applause from the staff in Carphones4u for buying the latest HTC phone?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Down

            @AC re: Nokia/Motorola

            When did the last time either one of those companies produce anything interesting, innovative or exciting?

      2. Lionel Baden


        I would prefer less articles on Apple here

        Its some disgusting form of sado machoism that i have to read them

        Mind you i do get pleasure watching all the apple bashing in the comments.

        But as people have said this is a "techie site" not a "designer bling site". so yeah apple will get bashed cause they release designer bling on normal hardware and charge a arm and a leg and your soul.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up


          >I would prefer less articles on Apple here

          Seconded, its supposed to be a site for IT professionals.

    2. Hitesh

      and your point is . .

      "Doesn't the fact that you need a powerful enough phone point to the fact that Flash sucks??"

      I think you clearly show your lack of understanding of mobile phone technology with such an unqualified comment . . obviously it takes more horsepower to run flash . . just as it takes more horsepower to run multitasking or display a background picture on an apple phone. Those that don't have sufficient power don't get that option (iphone 3G) and those that do, do get the option (iphone 3GS, 4).

      Its simply the evolution of technology the new devices will clearly be able to support more processor intensive activities.

      You have made the choice to use the platform that suits you, whether it be for its features, or simply because you think it makes you look cool in front of your friends.

      I also don't see any issue with people having opinions on apple phones, android phones or any other platform . . clealy they all have deficiencies, but some are more deficient than others.

      Personally I see the iphone as an excellent piece of technology which in some respects leads innovation and competition in the mobile devices market. However, the product is backed by a business that clearly doesn't look at providing the consumer with what they want, but rather enforcing what you 'should want'. This (for many) doesn't allow you to use your device in the way you may want to.

      You are clearly happy in the safety of apple's walled garden. However many others, quite fairly and understandably don't agree with this concept and feel that if they pay hundreds of pounds on a device (device + contract) then they should be able to use it they way they want to not how apple dictates (and changes their opinion based on their leader's emotions that day).

      Quite simply the Android platform provides more choice for the consumer than the apple platform. Both in terms of the allowing for hardware and software that suits you.

      It doesn't take the one size fits all attitude that apple enforces.

      Imagine what you would look like if you wore 'one size fits all' clothing . .

  14. JabrTheHut

    Does no one remember the beta?

    Adobe trumpeted the beta. Hulu didn't't work. Farmville didn't work. Does anyone believe they do now? I'm guessing simple flash ads will work - which is what we all want to look at, right?

    This may be an own goal for Android. Imagine Adobe's marketing bots deciding that turning flash off is bad for Adobe's image, and rolling out 10.2 which removes that ability. Now imagine the marketing - Android 2.3, now with 2 hours of battery life....

    1. Hitesh

      does what you say even make sense in the real world?

      What I fail to understand is how giving the consumer the choice to use flash is some how going to result in a 2 hour battery life.

      Reading the article (which is generally good practive before commenting) I see that flash items on a web page are only enabled when the user wants them to be. So essentially and Android you would see the same page an apple phone user would see, but the Android user would be able activate any of the flash content that they wanted.

      I understand that you want to make a point and all this bashing android and apple makes great reading . . and no doubt I sound quite boring in comparison . . but try and look at the real world rather than imagining an Android world where everyone is using flash 24/7?

      I would suggest that giving the consumer a choice is better than enforcing your own will upon them. Wouldn't you agree?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Not the target market

    I've never understood the need to do anything else on a phone than make phone calls. Except the occasional text.

    If I want web access, I use a computer (PC, Mac, Linux, don't care, whatever is available).

    If I don't have access to a computer. I wait until I do.

    Surely nothing on the internet is THAT urgent that it requires the need for me to squint at a small screen and fart around with crap keyboards (real or virtual).

    Am I old, or just simple?

    1. James Hughes 1

      You might be old AND simple,

      but that doesn't stop you from being right.

  16. SlabMan

    Now that it's here

    It will be interesting to see how well it works, especially with touch screen devices. Wake me up when there's an actual hands-on review, rather than yet more pro/anti Apple fanboi ping-pong.

  17. Andrew Garrard

    Cycling the drain

    "Flash 10.1 has features well suited to mobile use, including the ability to hibernate animations which aren't within the area of a page being displayed, and to pause when a call comes in."

    Oh good, these are mobile features. Because Flash couldn't have caused me to install script blocking in order to make the web usable. Funny how having a few hundred tabs open at once on a desktop system is absolutely fine until they all start running flash adverts in the background.

    So much for assuming that it might have been default behaviour not to eat every CPU cycle available to you if the flash script author was brain dead. (I'd like to think that this comment would mean the functionality would be back-ported to the desktop, but I have it on reasonable authority that the ARM and x86 version of flash don't have much of a common code base.)

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Flash 10.1 on HTC Hero.

    Whilst popular belief may be that you need the rarer than hens teeth 2.2 Android devices to run Flash 10.1, that is entirely untrue.

    I have Flash 10.1 on my HTC Hero running Android 2.1 and it works just fine... Much better than the Flash Lite that it came with...

    It's also documented here how to do it:

  19. darkpill

    Try practicing what you preach

    Yeah - Flash is amazing - if it's so fantastic, why don't you use in on this site (other than the annoying ads I mean)

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