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Adobe releases Flash Player 10.2 for Android

Adobe has launched version 10.2 of its Flash Player for Android, bringing those lucky enough to be running an up-to-date version of Android on compatible hardware significant improvements.

The latest release, which is compatible with Android 2.2 'Froyo,' Android 2.3 'Gingerbread,' and Android 3.0.1 'Honeycomb,' offers tighter integration with the in-built browser and vastly improved performance tweaks.

The biggest change won't be apparent to most users, activating only on Android 3.0 'Honeycomb' tablets: Flash content on this platform is now treated as part of the page rather than as an overlay, meaning that scrolling performance is greatly enhanced. Sadly, this won't be backwards compatible with older Android releases - meaning jerky scrolling on smartphones.

The update also includes a security patch for the major cross-platform zero-day vulnerability that left systems running Flash Player on desktops, laptops, and mobiles open to attack - closing that hole for Android users and making the upgrade a must-have.

The improvements will go quite some way to prove Apple head honcho Steve Jobs wrong, producing what Adobe hopes will be a totally usable, desktop-like implementation of Flash on a tablet device - and giving Honeycomb-powered tablets a unique selling point over the popular iPad.

The latest release is available for free from the Android Market on compatible devices - if you're not seeing it listed, then the chances are that your device doesn't officially support Flash. If so, you'll have to find another way to install the update.