Contrary to reports floating about the web, the Motorola Xoom isn't getting Adobe Flash Player 10.2 today -- rather, the tablet is getting updated to support Flash, which will actually arrive in one week. Adobe now says that Flash Player 10.2 will be ready to download from the Android Market on March 18th,
supporting only Honeycomb tablets (in other words, just the Xoom) to start, and will eventually be available for Android 2.2 smartphones -- again, contrary to what we'd been told , but we can't really complain on that count supporting Android 2.2 (Froyo), Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and a beta version for Android 3.0.1 (Honeycomb) at release. Froyo devices won't get the full battery-friendly Stage Video rendering pipeline and deep browser integration like their Honeycomb tablet brethren, but dual-core phones will reportedly see a performance improvement nonetheless, and there's a new tweak that'll let Flash web apps pull up a virtual keyboard if needed for full functionality. PR after the break.
Update: Adobe contacted us to clarify that Flash 10.2 is, in fact, headed to all three of the most recent versions of Android on March 18th -- the Honeycomb tablet version will simply sport a beta label, and the smartphone builds will lack full functionality as described above.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]
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Update on Flash Player 10.2 for mobile devices
Today we are happy to announce that Flash Player 10.2 will be available for download via Android Market on March 18th. Flash Player 10.2 is a production GA (General Availability) release for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread) devices which meet the Flash Player hardware system requirements. It is initially a beta release for Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablets which requires Google's 3.0.1 system update.
We have been working very closely with Google to ensure tight integration between Flash Player 10.2 and new OS and browser capabilities in Android 3.0. The March 18th beta release of Flash Player 10.2 in conjunction with Google's first system update to Android 3.0 (version 3.0.1) currently underway for the MOTOROLA XOOM™ will deliver the first phase of our work together. This will be followed by subsequent updates, which will complete the optimizations and result in a production GA release of Flash Player 10.2 for Android 3.0.
Some of the new capabilities of Flash Player 10.2 for Android include:
Hardware accelerated video presentation for H.264 (Android 3.0.1+ only)
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 (Android 3.0.1+ only)
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.
To see which devices are certified to support Flash Player, please visit http://www.adobe.com/flashplatform/certified_devices/.
To learn more about Flash Player for mobile devices, please visit http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer.html.