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Why Most Current Android Phones Will Never Get Flash 10.1 [Android]

There are two factors that'll determine whether or not your phone is ready and able to run Flash, whenever it becomes available. First, you'll have to worry about software: As far as we know, Adobe is only planning on supporting Android 2.0 and up, meaning that unless you've got a Droid or Nexus One, you're shit out of luck—unless, of course, your phone gets treated to an upgrade.

But even then! Optimized as it may be, at least some older hardware could have issues running Flash smoothly. Answering a question about a specific phone, Antonio Flores, a man posting on Adobe's support forums who everyone—including a community manager there—seems roundly convinced is a legitimate Adobe employee, says:

No, the HTC Hero will not be supported b/c it does not have the correct Android OS version and its chipset is not powerful enough. We require a device with an ARM v7 (Cortex) processor. Examples include the Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets and TI OMAP3 series.

That Cortex qualifier could be a killer, too. Even if your G1 was treated to an official Android 2.1 update, there's a good chance it just doesn't have the horsepower. For the time being, this could—again!—be a Droid-and-Nexus-only affair. (Update: To be clear, what we're talking about here is Adobe's full mobile version of Flash 10.1, not HTC's version of Flash Lite.)

Speaking of updates, there's actually a third factor that could screw your phone out of new Flash: The upgrade path. The Palm Pre's webOS 1.4 update helps prep the platform for Flash, but leaves it up to users to download the plugin as an app. On Android, the distribution system looks like it'll be even more dependent on automatic, over-the-air delivery, so if Adobe tells your carrier and handset manufacturer that your handset isn't up to the task, that too could keep you from experiencing the rich and wonderful scope of Ads That Move On The Internet, on your smartphone.

For first and second generation phones, in other words, Flash 10.1 probably isn't coming to Android at all. Sorry? [Adobe via Andronica via PhoneArena]

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Motoblur 3G phone

Snow Leopard

The Motorola Devour with Motoblur 3G phone is photographed in San Francisco, Tuesday, March 2, 2010. With a brushed aluminum exterior and user-friendly Android operating software, the Devour lets you surf the Web, check e-mail and update your Facebook status with relative ease over Verizon Wireless' network.

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Android's Budget Future, Now: Droid Eris Free On Contract [Dealzmodo]

Super-spec'd premium phones like the Droid and Nexus One are only part of Google's long term plan for Android. What we have here is a glimpse of Android's other future: Free. Android handsets are the new flip-phones! Sort of!

Today's Motorola Devour launch at Best Buy Mobile brought some extra goodies, including an awkwardly priced Droid, which seems to render its new stablemate kind of unbuyable, and this little surprise: A Droid Eris, which is Verizon's version of the Sprint Hero, priced for free on contract. Not a single dollar! (Except for the 60 of them you'll have to pay out for two years, but who's counting that money, right? Right.)

Point is, budget Android phones are a verifiable thing right now, and even if they're sometimes loaded with out of date version of Google's OS or terrible custom interfaces, they are categorically better than virtually any feature phone. And as data plans become more ubiquitous and (dear god please) cheaper, always-connected, internet savvy smartphones will graduate from the massive trend to the status quo.* And Android, without any licensing fees for carriers or handset manufacturers, will play a huge part in this.

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Android's Dude Problem [Android]

73% of Android users are men, compared to the rest of smartphone platforms, which skew only slightly manward. But really, we should have expected this. (And not in a sexist way!)

The statistic comes from AdMob's January Mobile Metrics report, which is littered with fascinating little nuggets. Like, did you have any idea 65% of iPod Touch users are younger than 17? (For the iPhone, that's 13%, and for webOS, just 2%.) Or that free app downloads across all platforms outnumber paid downloads by nearly 10 to 1? Or that Android users are the stingiest, with only 21% of users purchasing apps on a monthly basis, as compared to the iPhone's 50%? Well now you do! So let's get back to the lady business.

The first impulse for a lot of people will be to make a dig against Android for being too nerdy to appeal to women—an implicit dig against women for not being nerdy or technical enough to appreciate Android, or something. Though there's something to be said for Android's geek-centric rep, that's not the main issue here.

The Droid, as far as Android phones go, is hugely popular—it's far and away the platform's breakaway hit, and represents a large proportion of its mobile web traffic. As such, it could skew any survey like this to the point that Android users stats are almost fully inline with Droid user stats. And the Doird was marketed

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