Android users are finally starting to get a real flash experience on their phones and tablets. This new release is especially important for tablet PC users as it will give the Honeycomb 3.0 version of Android Flash support (finally!). So for those lucky people out there holding Motorola Xoom tablets you can now have Flash on your tablet. However, there is one catch to this release, as the version of flash for Honeycomb 3.0 is only a beta version. A full production general availability release is available for those running Android 2.2 or 2.3 but for 3.0 it is still a beta version.
Last week an update was pushed out to Android 3.0 users – to Android 3.0.1 which laid the groundwork for this latest release of Adobe Flash 10.2. So it has been enabled and is usable on these devices but may have some bugs that should be worked out in the next few weeks – so don’t be surprised if there is another release of Flash 10.3 in the next month. Adobe wants the experience to be the same on a desktop and a tablet, so they are working on making it as close as possible now and will get feedback from this beta version to work out the problems.
With this update the Android tablets are taking a step ahead of the iPad in enabling full Adobe Flash support. The Motorola Xoom will probably start to see increased sales as users are seeking a web experience similar to their desktop computer on their tablet PCs. The market is quickly expanding and we should expect to see a lot more innovation in this area very soon. The Honeycomb 3.0 version of Android is still being developed and with increased Flash support it suddenly becomes a little bit more relevant.
So what is missing in the beta version for Honeycomb 3.0? Well it doesn’t support embedded videos, so they suggest to view all videos in full-screen mode for optimized performance. 720-p web videos won’t work either – embedded or full-screen isn’t supported yet. Adobe suggests viewing videos in 480p or less in order to get the best visuals. In testing some websites worked and some didn’t, it was hit or miss depending on the site and how Flash-intensive it is.
The release isn’t monumental but it is another step in the right direction for the development of Android tablets. Xoom users should be happier with the better experience but still work has to be done to make it the web experience that a desktop computer user would have. Android’s support for Flash helps to keep it relevant too as Apple has shunned it. Overall its good news for Android fans and the speed of development surely helps to keep the fan base strong and growing. Have you downloaded the new version of flash on your Android phone or tablet? Let us know your experience in the comments, we’ll be interested to see what problems appear and if the newest version of Flash is working well for everyone.