Buffering: Google readies Flash for Android devices

Unlike mobile software rivals Apple and Microsoft, Google is working with Adobe to bring Flash to phones

Google will soon add the capability to play Flash videos to its Android mobile phone OS, Google product manager Eric Tseng announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The move will allow Google to differentiate its platform from Apple's iPhone, which does not support Flash, and Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 Series software, which will not support Flash in its first version.

"By working closely with Adobe we can tie the Flash runtime directly into the high-end hardware in these devices," said Tseng. He had been invited to demonstrate the technology during Google CEO Eric Schmidt's keynote speech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday.

However, Tseng's attempt to play a Flash video embedded in the front page of The New York Times Web site was thwarted by competition for the wireless network in the theater.

"It's buffering," said Tseng. "Everybody get off Wi-Fi now."

A second demonstration, of an Android phone playing a trailer for a post-Apocalypse movie, was more successful.

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Peter Sayer

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