Adobe targets one billion mobile users in a Flash

Adobe targets one billion mobile users in a Flash

By Rob Crossley

September 21st 2011 at 5:01AM

Flash Player 11 to launch in October; AIR 3 to further support iOS

In a pugnacious bid to finally dispel doubts over the future of Flash, Adobe is today claiming that the media player will be available to as many as one billion mobile devices by 2015.

Today the company announced that its next generation Flash Player 11 would launch in October this year, complete with an array of new features such as hardware-accelerated 3D rendering.

Along with the release of Flash 11, Adobe will launch AIR 3; a superset of Flash Player that brings Flash based apps outside browsers and onto devices such as mobiles.

Apple has famously prohibited Flash across its entire range of mobile devices.

Allowing Flash-supported programs to be repackaged for iOS is key to Abobe’s plan for domination on smartphones, the company said.

Adobe claims that more than 200 million smartphones and tablets, including iOS devices, already support Flash via Adobe AIR.

“By the end of 2015, that number is expected to increase to 1 billion,” the company said.

That figure is related to the projected sales of all mobile and tablet devices, which Adobe assumes Flash applications would be possible to work on.

Native Flash programs will not be available on iOS devices unless Apple changes its controversial policy. The Air program is Adobe’s new priority in solving the conundrum, but HTML 5 tools are argued by some as a more elegant solution.

In a Develop-attended conference call, an Adobe executive made the it clear that the company sees value in HTML 5, but less so in games.

“Our approach is that customers see significant advantages for Flash in a few focused areas, such as games and rich media,” said Danny Winokur, the president and general manager of Adobe's Platform division.

“If HTML 5 matures to a certain point, that’s fantastic, [but] there will continue to be new opportunities in Flash,” he added.

A key feature of Adobe 11 is its ability to display hardware-accelerated 3D applications.

Adobe said Flash 11 enables up to “1,000 times faster" rendering performance over Flash Player 10 and AIR 2.

“Developers are able to animate millions of objects with smooth 60 frames-per-second rendering and deliver console-quality games on Mac OS,” the company said.

The 3D capabilities of Flash 11 has spurred game engine vendor Unity to support the player.

At the conclusion of his conference call, Winokur gave the Unity engine a shining endorsement. He said Adobe is “excited about what they are going to deliver when it comes to 3D and 3D modelling”.