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

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36 Comments

1. Kohai

Posts: 50; Member since: Jun 04, 2010

CouldnĀ“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.

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.

14. tbacba

Posts: 134; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

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

15. CommZod

Posts: 10; Member since: Mar 08, 2010

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

16. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

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

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

24. tbacba

Posts: 134; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Oh man, that hertz! (groan)

26. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 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.

27. Cali_E

Posts: 196; Member since: Sep 24, 2008

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

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.

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?

2. beeper3000

Posts: 4; Member since: Oct 18, 2009

flash on my droid is way faster than that

3. narley21 unregistered

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

4. CommZod

Posts: 10; Member since: Mar 08, 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!

5. cc16177

Posts: 312; Member since: May 09, 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.

8. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 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"

13. CommZod

Posts: 10; Member since: Mar 08, 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.

17. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

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

23. jd829

Posts: 155; Member since: Feb 24, 2010

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

6. LGVX1993

Posts: 260; Member since: Jan 27, 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.

7. dahaka17

Posts: 61; Member since: Jun 08, 2010

prob cause its a crappy nexus one

9. bucky

Posts: 3791; Member since: Sep 30, 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.

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.

35. NOVAinc

Posts: 99; Member since: Jun 24, 2010

where do they sell the uncrappy versions?

11. baldilocks

Posts: 1540; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

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

18. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

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

28. Cali_E

Posts: 196; Member since: Sep 24, 2008

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

20. Russki

Posts: 45; Member since: Dec 26, 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

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.

25. CommZod

Posts: 10; Member since: Mar 08, 2010

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

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