Adobe Lines Up Industry Support for Flash Player 10.1

You won't find Apple on the list of Flash supporters, but Adobe Systems has lined up some big name backers for the latest version of its mobile media player, released on Tuesday. Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) released statements of support from a number of leading mobile players, content providers and analysts for its long-awaited Flash Player 10.1.

Adobe's popular Flash format is widely used to display video and animated pages on the Web, but Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has refused to accept the software for its iPhone and iPad products over what CEO Steve Jobs has said are persistent security and performance concerns. Jobs has also repeatedly claimed Adobe hasn't moved quickly enough to deliver an acceptable version of Flash for mobile devices.

With booming iPhone and iPad (three million sold in 80 days since its debut) sales, the lack of Flash support doesn't seem to be costing Apple any sales. In dismissing Flash, Jobs said Apple is betting on the emerging HTML 5 Web content standard for bringing new media applications to portable devices.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is also a strong backer of HTML 5, but said Flash is a better solution for now in many use cases.

Graphics chip maker Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) said it's banking on Flash to bring high definition and other rich media content to new devices based on its Tegra processor.

"“The Web without Flash lacks millions of rich pages and high-def content," Neil Trevett, vice president of mobile content at Nvidia, said in a statement. "NVIDIA and Adobe worked side-by-side to make full GPU acceleration for Flash Player 10.1 a reality. Now the two companies are bringing these performance and power benefits to a whole new generation of smartphones and tablets with Tegra."

Altimeter Group analyst Michael Gartenberg said his experiences testing the new Flash on an Android device were "pretty good," in his words.

"Sites that did use Flash loaded relatively quickly and effortlessly. It was fun to surf to a site and not get an error message because Flash was being used," Gartenberg said in a blog post. "Performance worked well and sites loaded quickly and fairly complex animations and user experiences worked quickly and looked good. Adobe has done a good job making the case that Flash is viable for mobile."

Viacom was one of several media and Web properties to also come out in support of Flash Player 10.1.

"Flash is great for video, because it allows us to create once and deliver reliably to multiple screens including computers, phones, tablets and TVs, giving us the broadest reach possible," Viacom's CIO Joe Simon said in a statement. "But Flash does so much more, including animations, audio, and games. We’re excited about the new mobile specific features in Adobe Flash Player 10.1, and are already incorporating features like multi-touch into our extensive set of games and video experiences."

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


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