Adobe is to make its popular Flash video software available for most smartphones by 2010, with the significant exception of the iPhone. Flash is the most commonly used video technology on the web, delivering around 75% of all online videos. It is the key technology behind YouTube and Google Video, as well as most online games. The new version of the software, called ‘Flash 10.1’, is intended to work as well on a smartphone as a desktop PC.
Adobe said it should be available on most higher-end handsets by 2010, although Apple’s iPhone would continue not to use the software.
Until now, many smartphones and netbooks have used a ‘light’ version of the program, because of the limited processing power of the devices. Flash Lite is currently installed in around 40% of all new mobile phones and will continue to be offered on lower-end handsets, Adobe said.
The new software supports high-definition video and can also be used with touchscreen devices.
It is the first major product the Open Screen Project initiative, which aims to create a flexible media platform for films and games that can run on any device – from set top boxes to mobile phones.
The intention of the project is to develop flexible software that will mean developers will only have to write code once, rather than tweaking it for different platforms.
The Open Screen Project is backed by nearly 50 companies including Google and Nokia.
The new software will be available for Windows Mobile, Palm webOS and desktop operating systems including Windows, Macintosh and Linux later this year.
Trial software for Google Android and the popular Symbian operating systems are expected to be available in early 2010.
The new version of Flash won’t work for the iPhone, as Adobe said the Safari web browser used by the iPhone and iPod touch does not support plug-ins like the one used for Flash.
However, software developers who write applications using Adobe’s programming tools will be able to make their products run on the iPhone by using a new feature that automatically translates apps into iPhone code.
Around 2.5 million iPhone owners try to download Flash each month, an Adobe spokesman said.