The XOOM software experience seems to be coming piecemeal.
Motorola's (mmi) XOOM, by most accounts, would be the best tablet you could buy right now if it weren't for Apple's (aapl) year+ lead in building ARM-based experiences. That being said, Motorola does offer some advantages over the product from Cupertino. One of these advantages is the ability to play Flash on a 10-inch screen. Unfortunately for Motorola and Google (goog), that Flash software wasn't ready for launch.
But it isn't terribly late: Adobe says it will be ready on Friday. Next Friday, the 18th.
We have been working very closely with Google to ensure tight integration between Flash Player 10.2 and new OS and browser capabilities in Android 3.0. The March 18th beta release of Flash Player 10.2 in conjunction with Google’s first system update to Android 3.0 (version 3.0.1) currently underway for the MOTOROLA XOOM™ will deliver the first phase of our work together. This will be followed by subsequent updates, which will complete the optimizations and result in a production GA release of Flash Player 10.2 for Android 3.0.
Flash will be able to take full advantage of the XOOM's dual core processors. The dual core Nvidia processor and chipset is a powerhouse and it would be a shame for Flash not to take full advantage of it. Adobe's (adbe) Flash is one of the many differentiators that the XOOM has over the more popular iPad.
There is a debate on whether or not Flash is good for a tablet experience. I don't necessarily need Flash on a tablet, but there are certainly times when it comes in handy. It is hard to argue that having Flash is worse than not having it.
Other advantages of Motorola's XOOM over iPad:<!-- more -->
- 4G option if you choose
- Better Maps software included
- Voice Commands and navigation
- Higher resolution, bigger widescreen
- Better front and rear cameras
More from Adobe's post:
Hardware accelerated video presentation for H.264 (Android 3.0.1+ only)
Flash Player 10.2 leverages the Stage Video rendering pipeline to enable users of Android 3.0 tablets, like the MOTOROLA XOOM™, to enjoy smooth playback of high-definition Flash video content on the web. Users will experience reduced CPU usage and higher frame rates for existing H.264 video content.
Deeper integration with the Android browser rendering engine (Android 3.0.1+ only)
Deeper integration of Flash Player and the enhanced Android 3.0 browser delivers faster and better rendering of rich, interactive web content resulting in a browsing experience similar to the desktop.
Flash Player can now render content as part of the web page along with other components such as HTML, images and gif animation. As a result, users will experience:
- Improved scrolling of web pages;
- Uncompromised viewing of rich, immersive content in the way intended by the page designer, including support for instances where HTML and other web content is composited over Flash Player rendered content. Flash Player rendered content will continue to be placed in a separate window on top of HTML in the Android 2.2 and 2.3 browsers, as these browsers do not support the new Android 3.0 browser rendering model.
Enhanced performance for the latest smartphones and tablets
Experience performance improvements designed to take advantage of the current generation of multi-core, GPU-enabled processors to deliver Flash videos, games and other interactive Web content on the latest smartphones and tablets. For a list of upcoming Flash-enabled devices which show off the latest performance improvements, including the MOTOROLA ATRIX™ 4G, MOTOROLA XOOM™ and LG Optimus 2X, please click here.
Automatic soft keyboard support
Users of touch screen devices will enjoy a more optimized experience interacting with rich content that requires keyboard input. This feature simplifies the development of multiscreen applications that require keyboard input, making it easier for developers to optimize desktop applications for mobile devices. A new ActionScript API enables developers to automatically launch and display the soft keyboard.
In addition to its availability on Android Market, the production GA release of Flash Player 10.2 will also be available pre-installed on many upcoming tablets and smartphones or delivered as an over-the-air (OTA) update to existing devices in market.
To see which devices are certified to support Flash Player, please visithttp://www.adobe.com/flashplatform/certified_devices/.
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