Flash 10 heads to ARM-powered smart phones

— 5:04 PM on November 17, 2008

When Intel started getting chatty about its Atom processor last year, the company boasted that the chip's x86 architecture would allow it to run the full Internet—including Adobe Flash, which has spotty or non-existent support on current smart phones. Atom hasn't made its way into phones yet, but full Flash compatibility may not be a big selling point if it does: Adobe has announced plans to port its new Flash Player 10 software to ARM platforms.

CNet News was on the scene at the announcement in San Francisco, and it says Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch "demonstrated Flash Player 10 on devices running Nokia's Symbian operating system, Microsoft's Windows Mobile, and Google's Android operating system." Apple was conspicuously absent from the list. Lynch commented after grabbing an iPhone, "This needs a little more baking. We need to pass the taste test of Apple's head chef."

Adobe has been offering stripped-down Flash Lite software for handhelds for years now, and CNet News says the company is continuing to work on it. With the full-fledged, ARM-compatible Flash Player 10 release, however, Lynch specified that Adobe is targeting "the higher end of the mobile market." Presumably, Flash's high processing demands make it a poor fit for lower-end devices.

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