Adobe launched Flash Player 11.1 — its final mobile browser plug-in for Android smartphones and tablets — along with AIR 3.1. While it's set to give way to HTML5, Flash 11.1 adds support for Android 4.0 plus a variety of performance, stability, and device update enhancements, according to the company.
Adobe Dec. 15 ported its fading mobile Flash software to Google's Android 4.0. The Flash support enables multimedia such as video and games on Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone (pictured), as well as future products that either ship with the "Ice Cream Sandwich" Android 4.0 build or get updated to it later.
Flash Player 11.1 for Android is Adobe's final mobile browser Flash plug-in, according to the company. It is said to provide enhancements and bug fixes related to stability, performance, and device compatibility.
The plug-in will be followed this week with a 3.1 release of Adobe's "AIR" rich media development platform. AIR 3.1 aims to help developers bring apps powered by Flash to a variety of operating systems, including Android. Both the Flash and AIR updates will be available on Android Market.
"As we've mentioned before, we're focusing on enabling amazing Flash based experiences via apps on phones and tablets, and this release will be the last major version of the mobile browser plug-in," wrote Tom Nguyen, senior product manager for Flash runtime, in a combined Flash 11.1 and AIR 4.1 blog post announcement.
The final Flash launch fulfills a promise Adobe made last month when it announced it was winding down mobile Flash support, currently available on Android and BlackBerry platforms, giving way for a gradual evolution to HTML5. HTML5, which is now universally supported on major mobile devices, is the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms, Adobe said.
Adobe told eWEEK in November that it would release one more mobile Flash Player iteration that would support Android 4.0, as well as one last Flash Linux Porting Kit. Going forward, Adobe will continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates.
Google, which has been tuning its own applications for HTML5, is supportive of the move. The company has been retooling core applications — such as Google Docs, Gmail, and Calendars — around HTML5 for the last two years.
Google is also experimenting with some of the prettier, eye-candy elements of HTML5 for its Chrome web browser. Its Chrome Experiments site is a showcase for creative web experiments, most of which involve HTML5.
Adobe Flash Player 11.1 for Android is available now, and AIR 3.1 will be available later this week, says Adobe. More information may be found in Adobe's Flash 11.1 and AIR 3.1 release notes.
Clint Boulton is a writer for eWEEK.
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