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Flash Player 10.2 coming to Android tablets and BlackBerry PlayBook

Flash may still be barred from the iPhone and iPad, but Adobe says it's caught on rapidly among other mobile devices. An update to version 10.2 is coming to tablets too.

Adobe has confirmed that Flash Player 10.2 will definitely be coming to Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets, as well as the BlackBerry PlayBook

Adobe's Flash Player 10.1 is now found on a wide selection of mobile devices running Android and other operating systems, even if it's still barred from the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Flash Player 10.2 adds some nifty new features, among which is 'Stage Video'.

Stage Video is all to do with making videos run better on hardware-accelerated devices, including smart phones and tablets. Adobe promises better video quality but, just as importantly, less of a drain on battery life.

In desktop tests, Adobe reckons Stage Video reduces CPU usage by up to 80 per cent when playing video, which could be a boon for people who watch plenty of clips, TV shows and movies on their tablet. Web videos will benefit automatically from Stage Video on devices running Flash Player 10.2, as long as they're in the H.264 format.

Adobe has also released a bunch of stats to show how Flash is catching on in the mobile world. The company expects more than 50 tablets to support Flash this year. There's no word on whether Apple's iPad 2 will be one of them, but we wouldn't hold our breath.

More than 20 million smart phones with Flash Player 10.1 shipped in the first six months after its launch, with another 132 million expected to find their way into people's hands this year. Seven million Android users downloaded Flash Player 10.1 from the Android Market, where the app is averaging a healthy rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.