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Programming the Mobile Web by Maximiliano Firtman

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Plug-ins and Extensions

By their very nature, you can’t count on plug-ins to work on every browser, but they are even less likely to be reliably available on the mobile web.

Adobe Flash

The Flash Player is a de facto standard in desktop browsers: Flash Player 8 penetration was at more than 99.5% as of September 2009.[1] However, the mobile world is a very different jungle. Adobe is trying to bring the same experience to the mobile browser, but it has found many stones in the road. That is why Adobe as yet has no official up-to-date penetration percentages for the mobile world.

Adobe currently has two mobile lines: Flash Lite and the major Flash Player 10 for mobile devices. The first one is intended for low- and mid-end devices (and high-end devices shipped before 2010), and the major player will be available for Android, Symbian, and Palm Pre (but not iPhone) devices starting in 2010. Table 6-19 shows the ActionScript version and Flash Video support in the Flash versions available for mobile browsers.

Table 6-19. Flash Mobile version comparison

Version

ActionScript version

Flash Video (FLV) support

Desktop Flash Player similarity

Flash Lite 1.0/1.1

1.0

No

Flash Player 4.0

Flash Lite 2.0/2.1

2.0

No

Flash Player 7.0

Flash Lite 3.0/3.1

2.0

Yes

Flash Player 8.0

Flash Lite 4.0

3.0

Yes

Flash Player 9.0

Flash Player 10.1

3.0

Yes

Same

Figure 6-16 shows what users with noncompatible devices will see if you embed Flash content in your site.

The Flash Lite player can be used in menus, backgrounds, games/apps, and in the ...

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