February 13, 2012

Google Chrome Web Browser Comes to Android, but without Flash

While last week Google (News - Alert) launched a beta version of its Chrome web browser for Android smartphones and tablet, Adobe said that it will not run its Flash Player. In fact, according to report, the software giant made it public last November that it will discontinue the development of Flash for mobile browsers.

In an Adobe blog last Tuesday, Bill Howard, a group product manager on the Flash team, wrote,  

"Adobe is no longer developing Flash Player for mobile browsers, and thus Chrome for Android (News - Alert) Beta does not support Flash content," as per the report. “The stock Android browser included with the operating system does support Flash,noted Howard.

A hands-on tour of Chrome for Android also reveals that the new browser does not support Flash, wrote PCWorld reporter Gregg Keizer. Per Keizer’s report, Adobe halted work on Flash Player for mobile browsers to shift resources to its efforts on HTML5. “Still developing, the standard that will ultimately replace many of the functions Flash has offered,” wrote Keizer.

The report quoted Danny Winokur, the Adobe executive in charge of interactive development, as saying, "We will continue to leverage our experience with Flash to accelerate our work with the W3C (News - Alert) and WebKit to bring similar capabilities to HTML5 as quickly as possible." In his comments, wrote Keizer, “He was referring to the World Wide Web Consortium standards body and WebKit, the open-source browser engine that powers Chrome and Apple's (News - Alert) Safari… And we will design new features in Flash for a smooth transition to HTML5 as the standards evolve," added Winokur.

In fact, as per the PCWorld report, Apple was first to move away from Flash as it was slow, drained batteries and posed security risks. Adobe followed quickly to discontinue Flash in favor of HTML5, reports

Furthermore, based on experts in the industry, PCWorld wrote that Flash Player on the desktop will also fade over time as support for HTML5 in browsers and websites expands. “Microsoft (News - Alert), for example, has already said it will block the Flash Player plug-in from being installed on the touch edition of Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) within next year's Windows 8,” wrote Keizer.

As per the report, Chrome for Android requires Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich, which can be downloaded from the Android Market.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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