If you’re an iPhone user, you may want to look away. Seriously, it’s kind of painful.
Everyone else, gather close. I have some good news for you: Adobe Flash — not a knock-off or second-tier version like the craptastic Flash Lite — but the full version of the latest, greatest 10.1 runtime won’t just be for desktops and netbooks. Practically every major mobile OS (Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, WebOS and WinMo) will also be getting the joy.
For the hardcore geeks, that means its GPU-accelerated goodness will be at your fingertips. (Translation for the non-geeks: YouTube clips in all their HD glory. Bug-free, streaming movies. And Hulu? Theoretically, should offer beautiful playback on your phone. On your PHONE, man. ’Nuff said.)
There’s a lot of good stuff for both mobile and desktop users. Flash Player 10.1 offers full support for multitouch, gestures and accelerometers, and a new version of Adobe AIR means that programs that run on it, like TweetDeck and the NY Times Reader, won’t be so resource hungry and crash-prone. Computer users will also get support for USB mass storage and enhanced p2p for things like Skype and gaming, as well as multitouch and gesture inputs.
For any iPhone owners still reading, let me just say that I feel your pain. I’m one of you and, while this is awesome news for everyone else, it just plain stinks for us. But by all accounts, the major snub isn’t Adobe’s fault. In the past, the company has shown a lot of interest in the iPhone, but Apple’s basically ignored all those knocks on the door. (When Gizmodo asked about it, Adobe replied, “Still a closed device and not much progress there.”)
So Apple locked the door on Flash, but we the users are the ones left out in the cold. Great. Thanks, Cupertino.
As for the rest of you lucky bums, get a sneak peek at what’s to come by checking out the demo vid of Flash 10.1, running here on a Palm Pre.
UPDATE: Some readers have asked me about when this is all going to go down. The wide release is definitely happening in 2010, likely by the middle of the year. More specifically, the buzz is that betas for WinMo and WebOS will launch by the end of this year. Android and Symbian will follow at some point early next year, and BlackBerry will follow up the rear (because RIM only just joined Adobe's Open Screen project, so this one will take a little longer). So this isn't launching immediately. It does indeed require a little more patience, but if reality actually lives up to the hype, then it should be worth it.