Flash for Android Honeycomb not ready yet

Adobe has a admitted that Flash won't be ready for the first wave of Android tablets running Honeycomb, but hasn't said exactly when it will be ready, explained the reason for the delay, or apologised to expectant tablet punters for keeping them waiting.

In a blog post the company's Matt Rozen simply explains that Adobe will offer Flash player 10.2 pre-installed on some tablets and as an Over The Air (OTA) download on others "within a few weeks of Honeycomb devices becoming available".

The first such device is the Motorola Xoom which is expected to hit any day now but will disappoint many potential purchases as its much-trumpeted ability to offer 'the full web experience with built-in Flash' will be conspicuous by its absence.

And with the flood of iPad wannabes expected to continue apace over the next few weeks and months, there's no telling how many of them will ship without the seemingly essential Flash Player. It also remains to be seen how 'finished' the first release will be, given that the Windows and Mac versions of the grown-up software have been around forever and still have a well-founded reputation for being crashtastic.

Apple's well-publicised ban on the Flash Player on its own portable devices was partly down to Adobe's inability to meet launch deadlines for Apple devices, and it looks like this latests announcement is yet another vindication of Steve Jobs' unpopular yet practical decision to look to HTML 5 as the future of Internet video.

The blog post runs out of steam after the first paragraph and waffles on about how great Flash is and how many mobile phones can run it, and how it got 4.5 stars on the Android Market place, but it's all just window dressing in our book.

It does, however, let slip that at least 50 Android-based tablet devices will ship in 2011. Let's hope at least some of them have a properly finished, stable version of the Flash Player.