Adobe Flash 10.2 To Hit Android Devices (Including the Xoom!) On March 18th

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When folks first cracked open their shiny new Honeycomb-powered XOOM tablets back at the end of March, they were in for a bit of a surprise: there wasn’t any Flash support. Turns out, one of the biggest features that this anti-iPad was sold on… wasn’t quite ready.

Well, it’s just about done now. Come March 18th, Adobe will be pushing out a new Beta of Flash 10.2, complete with support for the XOOM and any other Honeycomb devices that might trickle out.

Adobe got a bit tricky with their wording. Here, let’s do some quoting:

Today we are happy to announce that Flash Player 10.2 will be available for download via Android Market on March 18th. Flash Player 10.2 is a production GA (General Availability) release for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread) devices which meet the Flash Player hardware system requirements. It is initially a beta release for Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablets which requires Google’s 3.0.1 system update.

That “it is initially a beta release for Android 3.0″ bit can be read two different ways: either 10.2 will be launching on March 18th in non-beta form for Android 2.2 and 2.3 but in beta for 3.0 devices, or it’ll ONLY be launching for 3.0 devices on March 18th with 2.2/2.3 support coming sometime thereafter. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s the first one — but we’ve reached out to Adobe for clarification just in case.

Other new goodies coming in Flash 10.2 for Android:

  • Hardware Acceleration for H.264 Video Decoding (Android 3.0.1+ Only)
  • Improved integration with the Android browser for better page scrolling (Android 3.0.1+ Only)
  • Hardware acceleration support for multi-core processors and handsets with dedicated GPUs
  • Improved on-screen keyboard support