Motorola Mobility has started tweeting that a system update for the XOOM tablet will begin rolling out tonight OTA. This update contains system patches and also adds support for the upcoming release by Adobe of Flash Player 10.2 on March 18.
Motorola has come under fire for the omission of Flash on the XOOM as released to the market. One of the biggest selling points about the XOOM prior to launch was the ability to play Flash content, something the iPad cannot do. The public was quite surprised to find the XOOM lacking the ability to handle Flash at launch.
This OTA update for the XOOM will bring Honeycomb up to version 3.0.1, which according to Adobe is required for Flash 10.2 to work properly. Adobe makes it clear that this initial version of Flash, available in the Android market on March 18, is a beta. The new Flash Player will be optimized to take proper advantage of Honeycomb and the Tegra platform as included on the XOOM. Adobe details the process:
We have been working very closely with Google to ensure tight integration between Flash Player 10.2 and new OS and browser capabilities in Android 3.0. The March 18th beta release of Flash Player 10.2 in conjunction with Google’s first system update to Android 3.0 (version 3.0.1) currently underway for the MOTOROLA XOOM™ will deliver the first phase of our work together. This will be followed by subsequent updates, which will complete the optimizations and result in a production GA release of Flash Player 10.2 for Android 3.0.
Let's hope that this new version of the Flash Player works properly in older versions of Android. Flash has worked well in the earlier versions, and it would be a shame if Flash 10.2 screwed that up.