Google's been notoriously tight-lipped about when Honeycomb will come to cellular handsets, but we may have gotten our answer at a recent Adobe event, as the company's Anup Murarka tells us Flash 10.2 will be coming to both tablets and smartphones "in the next few weeks." Come again? You see, Adobe Flash 10.2 uses fewer CPU cycles to play back web video, likely providing better battery life in Android devices (and BlackBerry tablets), but Adobe told us it can't support the function in earlier versions of the Android OS -- Google had to specifically add new capabilities in Honeycomb to let Flash 10.2 take full advantage of hardware. In short, if Flash 10.2 requires Android 3.0 and Flash 10.2 is headed to phones soon, the transitive property of equality suggests that Android 3.0 will soon appear on smartphones as well. Our algebra teacher would be so proud.

In related news, both Flash and Adobe AIR seem to be doing quite well in the mobile arena thus far, as Adobe reports that that AIR is presently in over 84 million smartphones and tablets -- with over 200 million such devices ready for the cross-platform apps by the end of the year -- and Flash has shipped on 20 million devices across 35 different models (twelve percent of all smartphones, says Adobe) with 50 new Flash-ready tablets scheduled to appear in 2011. PR after the break.
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Adobe Reports Strong Mobile Adoption of Flash Player and AIR; High Expectations for 2011

Company Showcases Performance Advancements with Flash Player 10.2

Mobile World Congress 2011
BARCELONA, Spain--(BUSINESS WIRE)--At Mobile World Congress, Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) announced that developers and content publishers can now deploy Adobe® AIR® applications to more than 84 million smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS. Thousands of applications have been created and made available on Android Market and Apple's App Store to date. By the end of 2011, Adobe expects more than 200 million smartphones and tablets to support Adobe AIR applications. For examples of popular AIR applications for Android and iOS, visit m.flash.com.

"We are thrilled to see mobile adoption of Flash Player and AIR exceeding even our own expectations, with much more to come in the months ahead"
In addition, Adobe announced that more than 20 million smartphones were shipped or upgraded with Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1 software on over 35 certified devices in the first six months following the launch. For 2011, the company expects Flash Player to be supported on more than 132 million units worldwide. More than 50 tablets are expected to support Flash Player this year alone. Using Adobe Creative Suite® 5 tools, over three million Adobe Flash Platform developers are now able to author content across a substantial number of devices for both Flash Player and AIR.

"We are thrilled to see mobile adoption of Flash Player and AIR exceeding even our own expectations, with much more to come in the months ahead," said David Wadhwani, senior vice president, Creative and Interactive Solutions Business Unit, Adobe. "This is tremendous progress toward ensuring that mobile users everywhere have access to their favorite content from casual games to Web video and enterprise applications regardless of what device they are using. And, our CS5 customers are excited about the ability to easily extend their creative work across millions of mobile devices."

Adobe is also showcasing the latest release of Flash Player – Flash Player 10.2 – along with additional performance advancements at the conference. The new release includes support for innovative new features including Stage Video, which delivers much improved video performance through optimizing hardware acceleration on mobile devices, desktops and TVs. Stage Video decreases processor and memory usage while enabling higher frame rates and improved video quality. Test results show up to 80 percent CPU savings when playing back video in 1080p on Windows® and Mac OS. Stage Video support for mobile devices will be available on Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" and BlackBerry Tablet OS. Existing H.264 video content on the Web will benefit from Stage Video on mobile platforms without any changes to the content.

Adobe AIR

A key element of the Adobe Flash Platform, AIR enables developers to leverage existing code to create and deliver standalone applications across devices and platforms. Adobe AIR supports smartphones and tablets based on Android™, iOS, BlackBerry Tablet OS, and desktops including Windows, Macintosh and Linux® operating systems. In addition, Samsung is the first television manufacturer to ship Adobe AIR in its line of Samsung SmartTV devices. With Adobe AIR, developers are able to use familiar tools including Adobe Flash Professional CS5, Adobe Flash Builder™ and Flex to build rich standalone multiscreen applications. Thousands are already available on Android Market, Apple's App Store, Adobe InMarket and Intel AppUpSM center today.

Adobe AIR enables rich application experiences through a series of features, including support for accelerometer, camera, video, microphone, multi-touch and gestures. Support for geolocation allows developers to create location-based applications and services. AIR is also able to display native browser controls within the application allowing for the integration of HTML and .SWF content. With SQLite support developers can easily store and cache databases inside an AIR application.

Adobe Flash Player

One of the top free apps on Android Market, with more than 6 million downloads to date and more than 150,000 users giving it a 4.5-out-of-5 star rating, Flash Player brings rich Flash based content to mobile devices inside the browser. In addition to Android Market, the runtime is distributed directly by device manufacturers and operators via pre-installs and operating system upgrades.

Flash Player is available today on Android, HP webOS and Google TV. BlackBerry Tablet OS, future versions of Windows® Phone, LiMo, Samsung SmartTVs and others are also expected to support Flash Player. For a list of certified devices, visit http://www.adobe.com/flashplatform/supported_devices/smartphones.html. For examples of the broad variety of content running in Flash Player on the Web, visit m.flash.com.