A few of my friends were talking about the iPhone and one of them mentioned Flash as an advantage for Windows Mobile. However, I think Flash is becoming less relevant on the mobile space, as it appears in its current incarnation. FlashLite 3.1 is the equivalent of Flash 8.x for the desktop. While this is miles ahead of Flash Player 7 for Pocket PC and FlashLite 2.x, FlashLite 3.1 cannot render and play embedded Flash content that was created using Flash 9 or above.
What does all that geek lingo mean? Well in layman’s term, FlashLite 3.1, as Steve Jobs had eloquently bashed in referencing Flash for the iPhone, doesn’t really work and the full desktop version of Flash is too memory intensive.
I had installed FlashLite 3.1 on my Touch Pro for use with Opera 9.5. Opera could play embedded YouTube videos and videos on YouTube.com played, but videos from sites like the New York Times or streaming videos through CBS.com did not work. My Grand Central voicemail account, which utilizes Flash to play voicemail messages wouldn’t even let me log on. This makes FlashLite 3.1 even less relevant on HTC devices as HTC already includes a YouTube Player with many of their devices.
Much like how Microsoft needed to revamp Pocket Internet Explorer to match the power and class of its desktop sibling, Adobe needs to unify its Flash offerings with more powerful internet browsers for the mobile space now. A lot of attention has been paid to the iPhone and whether Cupertino will allow for Flash on the platform, but that’s just one platform among many. Why aren’t people talking about the state of Mobile Flash in general–that it just doesn’t work.