HTML5 might be gearing up hopes to dethrone Flash as the online streaming video technology of choice, but Flash is here to stay for a while longer, and is now even gaining ground on mobile devices. The Palm Pre is going to be one of the first devices to get the new Flash Player 10.1, which was announced in October.
Flash 10.1 promises to bring big changes, the most important of which is the hardware acceleration. It uses the GPU of the devices to accelerate video and graphics, which offloads a lot of work from the CPU and less CPU utilization in turn, means less battery drain.
To make even better use of the limited resources of the CPU and the battery, it’s only active when it has to – if you switch to a different app, it pauses automatically. The integration is even better as it supports multitouch, gestures, it can use the built-in accelerometer for auto rotation and so on.
WebOS devices, like the Palm Pre and the Palm Pixi, as well as Windows Mobile handsets will be the first to get Flash 10.1, at least in public developer beta form. Android and Symbian will get their public betas in early 2010 and although some devices running either OS already have some support for Flash, v10.1 will bring full Flash support. Even BlackBerry phones will get the new Flash player later on.
Of course, there’s quite a way to go from public beta to a ready product, though Adobe promise that WebOS will get Flash 10.1 in the first half of 2010.
You’ve probably seen it, but here’s a video demo of Flash running on the Palm Pre:
There’s the conspicuous absence of Apple and the iPhone from this picture, I know. Adobe recently undertook a direct approach, trying to shame Apple into giving in and adding Flash support to Mobile Safari. I wouldn’t hold my breath, though.