Adobe Flash and the HTC Hero

The new HTC Hero is interesting for a couple of reasons. First it's a new Android device that has a non-traditional Android interface called "Sense." In a way it makes the HTC Hero somewhat more like HTC Windows Mobile devices. And it shows the way toward differentiated Android phones, using proprietary interfaces like these combined with hardware improvements (e.g., 5 megapixel camera).

It's also the first Android device that runs Flash (the Skyfire browser runs Flash). Windows Mobile, Palm's WebOS, Symbian and Android are supporting or will support Flash while RIM and Apple currently do not. Obviously devices that can run Flash are closer to bringing the "real Internet" to mobile than devices that do not. Apple has been a holdout on Flash because of alleged performance issues (and because it would potentially allow developers to bypass iTunes). 

The pressure is on Apple now to add or allow Flash -- one might argue the CPU power of the 3GS will allow it to work reasonably well. But some are also contending that Apple is waiting for HTML5 to be more broadly adopted, potentially eliminating the need for Flash entirely. Despite Android support for Flash Google is also pushing HTML5 to enable richer apps development for the browser. 


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