It was already made rather clear that the next version of Android
(v2.2, or "Froyo" in code name speak) would support Adobe Flash Web sites, which has been the talk of the smartphone world over the past few months. Apple's iPhone family has never supported Flash sites, but this debate was rekindled and elevated once the obviously more powerful iPad skipped out on Flash support as well. Now, it's not a matter of horsepower; it's a matter of Steve Jobs (Apple
's CEO) versus Adobe. Or so it seems.
But one company that apparently has no real bad blood with Adobe is Google, and the two are taking every opportunity to jump ahead in the smartphone space. Android has been doing quite well over the past few months in terms of customer adoption, though we suspect the increase in iPhone OS users once the next generation iPhone lands in a few months may erase all of those gains. At any rate, it's highly likely that Google will detail their new mobile operating system (Android 2.2) at their own I/O event this week in California, and Adobe will probably be on hand to demonstrate this.
All reports now are suggesting that Flash 10.1 support will be native in Android 2.2, but that's not all. Google
will apparently be going out of their way to showcase Flash-enabled Web sites as soon as users upgrade. Rather than a typical "thanks for upgrading" splash screen, Android 2.2 users will be ushered away to experience a list of Flash Web sites. Talk about a low blow to Apple. Even with iPhone OS 4.0 comes out later this year, Flash support will be nowhere near. Regardless of anyone's opinion of Flash
, it's still a huge part of the Web today, and even if HTML5 eventually makes Flash irrelevant, we are glad to see at least one major mobile OS supporting a format that's important to users in the here and now. But rubbing Apple's face in it may not be the best long-term decision. Did someone call the Soap Opera director, or what?