Android 4.0 to get Flash Player by year's end

Adobe commits to one more version of Flash for mobile browsing on Ice Cream Sandwich-based devices

Adobe will provide one more version of Flash Player for the new Android 4.0 operating system by year's end before following through on its plan to halt development of the software for mobile browsers.

The Flash Player version for Android 4.0 will be available for download to the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone. Early reviewers found that the Adobe software is not preloaded on the Galaxy Nexus, the first device to run the new Google OS version, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Galaxy Nexus is already shipping in the UK and due to come to Canada on Dec. 7.

Verizon Wireless will have a 4G LTE version of Galaxy Nexus, but the carrier and Google haven't announced a the U.S. release date.

In a statement, Adobe said it "will release one more version of the Flash Player for mobile browsing, which will provide support for Android 4.0 -- expected to be released before the end of this year."

The statement first appeared on Phonescoop.com yesterday.

Ths AT&T statement seems consistent with Adobe's Nov. 9 comment that it would not continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with NEW [emphasis added] mobile device configurations." Android 4.0 was nearing full release by that time.

Adobe also promised on Nov. 9 it would provide bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations, which presumably includes Android 4.0.

Adobe said its decision to ditch Flash Player was made to help boost its investment to HTML5, a widely-adopted mobile Flash alternative that Apple has preferred in its products, mainly for better battery efficiency.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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