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Flash is Making a Splash on Android Honeycomb, Release Date Revealed

Flash for Android 3.0 Honeycomb is almost here. Adobe just announced they will be releasing Flash Player 10.2 on Android Market on…

March 18th. That’s the day that Adobe will be bringing Flash 10.2 to Android Market, and that’s the day you will be able to finally get some Flash support on your Motorola Xoom tablet.

When Motorola Xoom was released, one of the key features and bullet points above iPad / iPad 2 was the Adobe Flash support. Little did we know that Motorola Xoom would launch without Flash support, because it wasn’t ready. The Honeycomb and Xoom releases were just too close together to make it happen in time.

Since catching a tremendous amount of heat for the Motorola Xoom Flashless launch debacle, Adobe has been hard at work with Google to at least bring something to the table.

The Flash Player 10.2 from Adobe is going to be released in conjunction with the first new revision of Android honeycomb software. The Flash Player 10.2 will only work with the upcoming Honeycomb version: Android 3.0.1.

What’s more is this new Flash Player for Honeycomb is a BETA RELEASE. This is not the fine tuned and kinks-free Flash Player 10.2, so expect a few hiccups.

Some of the new features of Flash Player 10.2 for Android include:

Hardware accelerated video presentation for H.264

Flash Player 10.2 leverages the Stage Video rendering pipeline to enable users of Android 3.0 tablets, like the Motorola Xoom, to enjoy smooth playback of high-definition Flash video content on the web.   Users will experience reduced CPU usage and higher frame rates for existing H.264 video content.

Deeper integration with the Android browser rendering engine

Deeper integration of Flash Player and the enhanced Android 3.0 browser delivers faster and better rendering of rich, interactive web content resulting in a browsing experience similar to the desktop.

Flash Player can now render content as part of the web page along with other components such as HTML, images and gif animation.

As a result, users will experience:

  • Improved scrolling of web pages.
  • Uncompromised viewing of rich, immersive content in the way intended by the page designer, including support for instances where HTML and other web content is composited over Flash Player rendered content.  Flash Player rendered content will continue to be placed in a separate window on top of HTML in the Android 2.2 and 2.3 browsers, as these browsers do not support the new Android 3.0 browser rendering model.

Enhanced performance for the latest smartphones and tablets

Experience performance improvements designed to take advantage of the current generation of multi-core, GPU-enabled processors to deliver Flash videos, games and other interactive Web content on the latest smartphones and tablets.  For a list of upcoming Flash-enabled devices which show off the latest performance improvements, including the Motorola Atrix 4G, Motorola Xoom and LG Optimus 2X, please click here.

Automatic soft keyboard support

Users of touch screen devices will enjoy a more optimized experience interacting with rich content that requires keyboard input.  This feature simplifies the development of multiscreen applications that require keyboard input, making it easier for developers to optimize desktop applications for mobile devices. A new ActionScript API enables developers to automatically launch and display the soft keyboard.

In addition to its availability on Android Market, the production GA release of Flash Player 10.2 will also be available pre-installed on many upcoming tablets and smartphones or delivered as an over-the-air (OTA) update to existing devices in market.

For Xoom users, March 18th can come soon enough.

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