Flash on the Nexus One

Posted in Spritely by Dimitri on February 23, 2010

Michael Chaize has a video up of Flash running on the Google Nexus One. It all looks fairly good, albeit a bit jerky due to some dropped frames, but definitely usable.

The only problem is, this version appears to take about a quarter of the phone’s battery life in under 10 minutes. Now, this is an early version, and let’s give it the benefit of the doubt and say that it can run Flash content for 1 hour. That’s pretty pathetic, and something you are going to want to stay away from in general if you want to use your phone away from a charging station. What’s more concerning is that since Flash runs on many web pages to provide ads it could be possible to take this battery hit even when you weren’t actively trying to view flash content. So it’s not 1 hour of video watching or game playing, it’s 1 hour of web browsing to sites that provide flash ads. Combine that with the fact that Android allows the browser to keep running in the background, and you have a serious battery life issue on your hands.
I personally wish that Google would stand with Apple to stand up to Adobe. I would have no problems with Flash as a runtime if it’s performance was acceptable. If Adobe made improvements to flash to increase it’s performance, then I would see no problem allowing it to run on mobile devices.

At the moment, Apple has the best web browsing experience on a mobile phone, but it’s competitors are quickly catching up. They are now attempting to leap ahead of Apple by adding Flash which will allow for a more “complete” web experience. This tactic may work well on a device spec sheet, but in the real world users will be far more unhappy that they have a phone that runs out of juice before lunch.

(via Daring Fireball)

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