Adobe Confirms Flash Support for Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Although Adobe Systems (NAS: ADBE) will halt future development of its browser-based Flash Player application runtime for mobile devices, the company has confirmed it will still deliver an updated version optimized for Google's (NAS: GOOG) Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich mobile operating system update.

"Adobe will release one more version of the Flash Player for mobile browsing, which will provide support for Android 4.0, and one more release of the Flash Linux Porting Kit -- both expected to be released before the end of this year," an Adobe spokesperson tells Pocket-lint. Adobe will not support future iterations of the Android OS beyond Ice Cream Sandwich, although it will continue to provide bug fixes and security updates for existing versions.

Adobe announced its plans to cease ongoing development of Flash Player for mobile earlier this month, indicating it will shift its efforts to native apps and the HTML5 web standard. "Over the past two years, we've delivered Flash Player for mobile browsers and brought the full expressiveness of the web to many mobile devices," wrote Adobe Interactive Development vice president and general manager Danny Winokur on the Adobe Featured Blog. "However, HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively. This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms."

Moving forward, Adobe will focus on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with its Adobe AIR runtime for all the major app stores. "We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook," Winokur stated. "We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations. We will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations." Winokur adds Adobe is already at work on Flash Player 12.

Last month, Adobe Systems acquired Nitobi Software, creator of PhoneGap, an open-source development platform enabling programmers to build cross-platform apps written in HTML5 and JavaScript. PhoneGap technology has been used to create thousands of apps across iOS, Android, BlackBerry and other mobile platforms.

Google officially unveiled Ice Cream Sandwich at an October media event. Android 4.0 delivers the tablet-optimized innovations introduced in its Android 3.0 Honeycomb update to all devices running Android in an effort to reduce platform fragmentation. Google has promised that moving forward, the same version of Android will run across all devices, regardless of screen size.

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