Macromedia has released the Flash 5 player for Microsoft's Pocket PC platform, adding a multimedia component that was previously missing from most Pocket PCs. The current player for the desktop is Flash 6, but the handheld version--available for all Pocket PC brands--does include some new features, such as better sound and video-like effects, Microsoft said. Flash is embedded in many Web sites as a way of adding animation and sound effects without adding substantially to download time.
Previously the only Pocket PC capable of playing Flash content was Casio's Cassiopeia, although a developer release of Flash 4 was available for other Pocket PCs. The player has not yet appeared on Macromedia's Web site, but is available for download from Microsoft's Pocket PC site. Because of Flash's low-bandwidth multimedia capabilities, some companies have seized on it as an ideal way to bring entertainment to mobile devices. Macromedia recently launched Flash MX, which is essentially release 6 of the software.
ZDNet U.K.'s Matthew Broersma reported from London.