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Mobile and consumer devices get a Flash from Adobe

Mobile version of Flash player gets update from its new owner, along with Flash Player SDK 7 for consumer electronics.

Adobe Systems on Tuesday released Flash Lite 2, the next version of Flash player for mobile devices, along with Flash Player SDK 7 for consumer electronics.

Flash Lite and Flash Player SDK can be incorporated into devices by manufacturers, allowing users of those devices to view Flash animations in the same way as desktop PC users. They're also aimed at providing a framework for the device's own user interface.

"Consumers worldwide demand engaging content and services on their devices--from mobile phones to cameras, televisions and more," Al Ramadan, senior vice president of mobile and device solutions at Adobe, said in a statement.

Both products support ActionScript 2, Unicode and XML data handling. Adobe has also released a preview of an update to Flash Professional 8, which is needed to author content specifically for the new platforms. The company said that developing a mobile application using Flash can be three to five times faster than using alternative technologies. Adobe acquired Flash when it bought Macromedia last year.

A large amount of attention is being paid to the mobile development market by many organizations. Late last year, the World Wide Web Consortium organized a seminar in London to push its vision of a mobile-enabled Web. At the same time, Opera Software also announced a beta of its Opera Platform SDK, aimed at providing similar facilities to Flash Player SDK, but based on open standards like HTML and CSS.

Adobe reported that shipments of mobile devices that included Flash increased from 12 million units to 45 million units during 2005. Customers included Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. Devices featuring Flash Lite should appear later in the year, according to Adobe.

Jonathan Bennett of Builder UK reported from London.