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Flash on Android is hardly a superhero

Flash on Android is hardly a superhero
If you have wondered why Steve Jobs shuns Adobe Flash in Apple's gadgets, it might not be just because of his capricious nature. We have been waiting for a while for Froyo to bring the full Flash experience to Android devices, but the end results are far from impressive. Over at GigaOM they have made a video trying to run various things on a Nexus One with Froyo, and found mobile Flash still not ready for prime time.

Given the resource hog that desktop Flash is, the mobile version has proved to be a daunting task for Adobe to scale down, and port over to mobile devices. Video playback on a lot of popular news and video websites was hit-and-miss, and basically the moral of the story is that the videos still have to be specifically optimized for mobile viewing, which kind of misses the whole purpose.

In our own experience with Adobe Flash 10.1 on Froyo we noticed actual improvement displaying interactive charts, like those of Google Finance, for example, which before were not exactly "interactive", but Google recently optimized the site for mobile, so that might be it.

What about your experiences, has the Flash superhero come to the rescue on your Froyo device, or you also have some "Flashback" stories to tell?

source: GigaOM

36 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:48

1. Kohai (Posts: 12; Member since: 04 Jun 2010)


Couldn´t it be because GPU is not powerful enough? We should wait for devices like Galaxy S with much better GPU to see how Flash can develop.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 11:01

12. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Really. Are you aware that the N1 is capable of playing HD video perfectly fine? Surely that takes much more processing and GPU power than some standard definition flash movie, right? I kinda remember myself telling this to everyone when everyone was hyped to the core about flash coming in froyo. And with great satisfaction I tell you now - I told you so.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 11:24

14. tbacba (Posts: 62; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


@ilia1986 Can you be any more full of yourself? What a db.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 11:26

15. CommZod (Posts: 10; Member since: 08 Mar 2010)


Isn't HD by definition atleast 720p? Last I new the N1 was 800x480, that's regular DVD quality if im not mistaken.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 13:19

16. tedkord (Posts: 5228; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Whoa, whoa! Calm down there, fellow. No reason to start calling people decibels!

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 13:26

19. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)


As much as folks want to hate Steve Jobs, the dude is right. Any flash content, apart from video, is really made for a mouse, not your finger. I know we've loved our little flash games (which are generally apps now). But websites can be redesigned and optimized for PC's as well as cell phones. Flash is just not really important on today's web except for video and in audio and video, you can just use HTML5

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 15:51

24. tbacba (Posts: 62; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Oh man, that hertz! (groan)

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 16:25

26. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)


I think you (and the writers of this article) are missing the point of Flash on Froyo... It's Available, it's Optional and it's Free. If you don't like the performance, uninstall it. If you like having the option, keep it. It's like the cork-screw on a swiss-army knife, even though it ain't as good as the real version, it's better than nothing. Everyone needs to stop acting like if something isn't perfect, it's trash.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 18:41

27. Cali_E (Posts: 196; Member since: 24 Sep 2008)


dude +1. at least someone out there has some common sense.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 21:19

31. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)


Ordinarily, I'd agree with you. But the problem is when Apple publicly said Flash is useless on mobile, Adobe came out and said they've presented something awesome worth our time every year and Apple rejected it. Adobe made it sound like they were ready, but no one gave them a chance to prove themselves. It's been over a year since Apple called them out and this is what they have to show for it? At this point, if Flash is worth it on the mobile end, Adobe should have had it perfect.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 23:41

33. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Yeah it's available. Question is - why is everyone so forgiving towards it? This is what it looks like on a top Android device. And the N1 is a top Android device. It didn't have any apps running in the background either. So yeah - all those who say that their flash works so much better - guess what - you lucked out. This video represents what flash looks like for the average Joe. And I didn't even mention the fact that lesser devices like the Milestone (1) also get 2.2. Imagine what their flash experience will be (shudders). So yeah - it's here. Why is everyone so happy about it, and not bashing Adobe\Google for it's poor implementation? What the smartphone community ran out of steam after all the Antennagate incident?

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 08:15

2. beeper3000 (Posts: 4; Member since: 18 Oct 2009)


flash on my droid is way faster than that

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 08:51

3. narley21 (unregistered)


my incredible smokes that..... dunno what his problem is.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 09:07

4. CommZod (Posts: 10; Member since: 08 Mar 2010)


While flash might not be "optimized" for android, people seem to forget this is still mobile. Things take time to develop. I've got flash on my Droid X and couldn't be happier. The occasional video may stutter some, but the fact that I can watch live CNN from their site with decent passable video is something that's worth it, its still better than any other platform has!

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 09:17

5. cc16177 (Posts: 312; Member since: 09 May 2010)


Yeah, this article to me seems like someone writing a review on the first cellphone: "This phone is pretty great but WTF is with this huge antenna and battery bag? Why can't this fit in my pocket?" It was the FIRST cellphone. Now, this is the FIRST cellphone to really run flash.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 09:45

8. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)


Agree on both counts... atleast Google and Adobe are trying instead of just throwing their hands up and saying "We'll get the next one"

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 11:23

13. CommZod (Posts: 10; Member since: 08 Mar 2010)


The funny thing is I watched this flash video, that is about flash sucking, over 3g not wifi with no issues. Played smooth as silk.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 13:23

17. tedkord (Posts: 5228; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Right. It may be "hit and miss" with froyo on android phones, but it's still just plain ol' miss on other platforms.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 15:46

23. jd829 (Posts: 155; Member since: 24 Feb 2010)


You did see the part at the beginning where he showed that the phone was on wifi?

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 09:24

6. LGVX1993 (Posts: 260; Member since: 27 Jan 2009)


I'm still waiting for my ota update to get flash on my Droid. In my opinion I think I would rather have flash work sometimes than not have it at all. But ill have to wait and see.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 09:43

7. dahaka17 (Posts: 61; Member since: 08 Jun 2010)


prob cause its a crappy nexus one

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 09:46

9. bucky (Posts: 1569; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


crappy nexus one??? That phone is still smoking 90% of the phones out there! I have a desire and it runs just fine. Besides, id rather have the option of flash than not.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 09:59

10. Virtual (unregistered)


I think he said that because the tests were made in a crappy Nexus One, not that all Nexus One phones are crap.

posted on 03 Sep 2010, 09:02

35. NOVAinc (Posts: 99; Member since: 24 Jun 2010)


where do they sell the uncrappy versions?

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 09:59

11. baldilocks (Posts: 541; Member since: 14 Dec 2008)


I use Frash on my iPhone 4. Plays any flash content just fine without having to have Flash itself on the phone. (shrug).

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 13:24

18. tedkord (Posts: 5228; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


What the f**ks a frash?! (pop culture reference)

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 18:44

28. Cali_E (Posts: 196; Member since: 24 Sep 2008)


he's asian dude. "I want frash on my googre phone!" lol

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 13:32

20. Russki (Posts: 45; Member since: 26 Dec 2009)


Lol i have my moto droid 1 rooted and optimized to 800mhz - flash player works wonderfully. I dont get what u guys are talking about. Video - its good, games however are a ways off. I dont see myself playing farmville on my phone anytime soon. I only wanted flash to i could have full youtube access

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 14:22

21. Interesting (unregistered)


I literally just went to fox.com and streamed an episode of house and my results looked nothing like the video. It was quick and a good solid stream of video. I was using 3g, not wifi so I'm not sure what issues this guy was having.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 16:01

25. CommZod (Posts: 10; Member since: 08 Mar 2010)


LOL I just tried the exact same thing with solid results over 3g

posted on 03 Sep 2010, 09:03

36. NOVAinc (Posts: 99; Member since: 24 Jun 2010)


can you make a video and post it here? that would be very useful, more than just bitching about the one here

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 14:22

22. jskrenes (Posts: 209; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


I am running a root hacked droid. Found a flash program that works, but it disables my wifi tethering apps, so I uninstalled. When I was using it, it seemed to work okay, with a few caveats: 1, many websites still sensed I was running a mobile, and loaded their version of the site that is optimized for mobile, and 2, when swiping around maps and other programs designed for a mouse, the phone had a hard time telling whether I wanted to pan around inside the flash program or pan around the web page as a whole. What we're really looking at here are two different philosophies on hardware and software development. With strict control over what gets loaded on the iPhone and when, Apple can pretty much ensure that they're going to hit a home run every time they launch something. Google can load tons of new apps, software versions, and such and throw them out and see what works. Sounds like a great idea until you look at the real world and see that people can get stuck in a 2 year contract with something that doesn't work. As much as I like Android, Apple might be on to something here: in my store, we stocked 10 different kinds of Bluetooth headsets. Nobody bought them. We scaled back to four, and our sales went up. I think as Android grows, the hardware specs will become more standard and software upgrades less frequently, and customers will get a more consistent experience.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 19:11

29. kruck55 (Posts: 11; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)


I got the Froyo update today around 1:00am. After it installed, however, I am having some problems with the Flash player. I am able to see the Flash videos, though it is somewhat choppy, but I am having a problem with the sound. On some sites, like colbertnation.com and cnettv.com, when I play a video the sound seems like it has slowed down. It sounds like the people are speaking in slow motion, but the video is running at normal speed. I don't know how to fix this problem, or if it can be fixed. If someone is having the same problem please let me know

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 19:49

30. Gues (unregistered)


Seriously? This D-Bag couldn't have found a site that worked prior to recording this video and posting it on the web? This genius doesn't even know how to edit his videos...priceless.

posted on 01 Sep 2010, 21:43

32. Flip7 (Posts: 31; Member since: 27 Nov 2009)


I don't knw what's the complain, I love it on mines cause is better to have it than just not having nothing at all...10.1 on my EVO plays lovely n even if now n then I get a lag at least I have Adobe I feel that the haterz that don't have it r the ones that r gonna complain

posted on 02 Sep 2010, 07:37

34. paynekiller (Posts: 139; Member since: 24 May 2010)


I wouldn't mind if they had Adobe Media player for our phones so I could watch my .flv files on it.

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