By JR Raphael
Xoom users are getting a software update over-the-air right now to prepare the device for the new Flash Player. The update -- numbered Android 3.0.1 -- is rolling out in waves, meaning it may take a few days to reach everyone.
The Flash software itself will show up in the Android Market next week, according to a blog posted by Adobe this morning. It'll be considered a beta release for Honeycomb tablets like the Xoom.
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.
Though it'll also run on Android 2.2 and Android 2.3 phones, most of the new features of Adobe's Flash Player 10.2 seem geared toward Honeycomb tablets. The software includes a special kind of rendering designed to provide smoother video playback on tablets; "deeper integration" with the Android 3.0+ browser, said to result in a faster and more desktop-like Flash browsing experience; better support for touchscreen keyboards; and a handful of other performance-based enhancements.
If you have a Xoom, the Motorola software update will show up automatically on your device sometime in the next few days; you'll receive an on-screen notification letting you know when it's ready to download and install. The Flash Player itself will likely have to be downloaded manually. All you'll need to do is head into the Android Market on the 18th and find it there.
(Note: If you've rooted your device, you'll need to relock it and restore the original software in order to receive the update. Motorola is offering a tool to help you do that here. If you aren't sure what rooting means, don't worry -- this doesn't apply to you.)
Adobe says its tablet-ready Flash Player will come preinstalled on future Android tablets.
Article copyright 2011 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.