Google gives the finger to Apple by building support for Flash video into Android 2.2 ‘Froyo’, due to debut next month.
Flash is coming to Android smartphones, with support for the Web video format to be baked into the forthcoming Android OS 2.2 update.
Google’s mobility guru Andy Rub confirmed the move in an interview with The New York Times
, which goes beyond Google’s previously nebulous comments that Android and Flash would meet at some point in the future.
That future now looks to be next month, when Google will preview Android 2.2 – codenamed Froyo, after the US brand of frozen yoghurt (in keeping with naming of each revision of Android for a sweet treat or desert) – at its developer confab in San Francisco.
Android already supports HTML5, Apple’s preferred alternative to Flash,
in the current 2.x release.
But Android’s ability to play the widespread Flash format, which extends from online video clips to a key component of many Web sites and of course advertisements, will be crucial as the OS moves from smartphones onto slates, set-top boxes and other consumer devices.
Owners of the HTC Desire are already a step ahead, as HTC wove Flash support into Android’s open source code. Adobe is also working on a Flash player app for Android, with a beta version expected to be released later this month.
The app will allow users to access Web sites which rely on Flash for navigation as well as watch streaming video using the popular format.
However, Adobe says the player will be available only for smartphones running Android 2.1 or later – many of which will also be upgradeable to 2.2, making Adobe’s Flash app a stop-gap measure until fans start flashing their phones with Froyo firmware.