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Google: Next Android to support Adobe Flash

Adobe already found a Flash ally in Google. Now Google confirms that its next version of Android will work with Flash Player.

The lead engineer behind Android has said that support for Adobe Systems' Flash technology will appear in the next version of Google's mobile phone operating system.

Andy Rubin, a vice president of engineering, said in a New York Times interview that Android 2.2, aka Froyo, will include the support, though he didn't make clear whether phones will ship with the technology preinstalled. Google's stance toward Flash is the polar opposite of Apple's rejection of Flash or Flash-based applications on the iPhone.

Of the Flash support, Rubin said that being open sometimes "means not being militant about the things consumer[s] are actually enjoying." His comment refers to the widespread use of Flash for games, animations, video streaming, interactive stock charts, online photo editors, and any number of other uses for Flash today on the Web.

Adobe is set to deliver Flash Player 10.1 by the end of June both for computers, where Flash is ubiquitous, and for higher-end smartphones, where it is largely unknown. It will support Android phones, BlackBerry Those phones include Android models as well as those running Windows Phone 7, the BlackBerry OS, Symbian OS, and Palm's WebOS.

Although Google is willingly allied with Adobe against Apple in the Flash debate, also building Flash Player into its Chrome browser, Google is not a complete fan of the browser plug-in. Google, Apple, Mozilla, Opera, and increasingly even longtime holdout Microsoft are among those trying to reproduce what Flash can do with a handful of "Open Web" technologies including HTML (HyperText Markup Language) for Web pages and applications, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) for Web formatting, the JavaScript programming language found on Web pages, and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), and WebGL for 3D graphics.

Also, Google is working on its own technology for boosting Web application performance, including the Native Client computing foundation and O3D library for 3D graphics.

Some expect Froyo to appear at the Google I/O conference in May. Its successor is code-named Gingerbread.