More like this

Hardware

Arrow

Phones

HTC Hero comes with Adobe Flash

Desktop multimedia on mobile phone

Adobe has confirmed that the latest Android handset from HTC, the Hero, will come with a proper Flash client: version 9 with support for ActionScript 2, with version 10 to follow some time next year.

Mobile phones have long been considered underpowered for a proper Flash experience, and Adobe tried to push a cut-down version of the technology in the hope that companies would create mobile-specific content. But simplicity demands a single standard, and with the increasing processing power and memory of mobile handsets Adobe has finally achieved a single platform that will work across mobile and desktop environments.

Browsing the web on a mobile phone, even when connected to a decent screen and keyboard, can be a frustrating experience. Just about everything is possible - viewing YouTube, navigating AJAX sites and uploading media - but many things require more effort than the desktop equivalent and the lack of Flash support can make some sites hard to use.

Server-side technologies, such as those offered by SkyFire and the latest version of Opera Mobile, provide a Flash experience by doing all the work on a remote server. Having a Flash client on the device removes one of the most compelling attractions of such a server-based architecture, though it can provide a faster browsing experience as well as supporting other technologies yet to be squeezed into a mobile phone.

Adobe has provided a video, showing how well Flash is integrated into the Hero browsing experience. The capability is something of a coup for HTC, though the company isn't planning to limit Flash to its flagship Android handsets, but has joined the OpenScreen project to create an open-source implementation of the Flash 10 client so it can be easily ported to any handset.

That probably means some mid-range handsets will soon be struggling to render animated menus and video interfaces, but as the capabilities increase Flash could find a comfortable home on a wide range of mobile phones. ®

Sponsored: Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics