Flash coming to iPhone nano? No…

etre-touchy-iphone-medHmm, so it looks like Adobe is working hard to answer its most high-profile Flash critic, Steve Jobs, last week revealing a deal with Nvidia designed to make for a better user experience on mobile devices.

The two firms are collaborating as part of the Open Screen Project to optimize and enable Adobe Flash Player to leverage GPU video and graphics acceleration on a wide range of mobile Internet devices, including netbooks, tablets, mobile phones and other on-the-go media devices.

It’s a shrewd move as Adobe attempts to enable Flash to offer a more “computer-like” experience on low-powered devices, such as netbooks.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs – who’ll reportedly be popping back into the public spotlight in the next few weeks following his struggle with illness – last year slammed Flash on mobile devices as being too underpowered.

He panned then mobile Flash, Flash Lite as being “not capable of being used with the Web.” It only bears fleeting relation to the desktop computer Flash, which Jobs said “performs too slow to be useful” on the iPhone.

“There’s this missing product in the middle,” Jobs continued.

Looks like Adobe is trying to meet the criticism. In future now Adobe Flash Player will be accelerated across the range of Nvidia processors, including Nvidia Tegra, enabling users to expect full H.264 video playback and rich, consistent Flash technology-based content “any time, any place and on any platform,” the company said.
Nvidia is also participating in the Open Screen Project, a broad initiative of 25 industry leaders to deliver a consistent runtime environment across devices. The aim is to enable Web content and standalone applications across desktops, netbooks, mobile devices, televisions and other consumer electronics that take advantage of Adobe Flash Platform capabilities.

“Nvidia and Adobe share precisely the same vision – visually compelling applications running on every device,” said Michael Rayfield, general manager, Handheld Business at Nvidia. “Consumers don’t have to sacrifice streaming video performance on small inexpensive platforms such as netbooks. A Tegra-based platform enables the rich, smooth playback they expect from a desktop PC.”

“Nvidia’s unique expertise makes it an ideal partner for Adobe to integrate cutting-edge graphics and video acceleration into the Adobe Flash Platform, benefiting all types of devices,” said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president, Platform Business Unit at Adobe. “Flash Player will leverage the power of the GPU to provide a rich, desktop-compatible Web experience on a wide range of devices.

However, we’re not holding our breath for Flash support on the next-gen iPhone, which isn’t expected to wield an Nvidia graphics processor, and may even show us first sight of Apple’s in development processor technology.

The new iPhone’s expected to appear in some form next week, with endless column inches currently propagating across the Web making sundry predictions for what the product will offer.

These rumours naturally include visions of a smaller cheaper iPhone, as we predicted (to many naysayers at the time) here and here.

9 to 5 Mac of course was among the vanguard for suggesting a small form factor iPhone would make its debut as Apple widens its addressable market for its world-class device.


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