Adobe has announced that Flash Player 10.2 will be available for Android on March 18, 2011. Flash Player 10.2 will be available for Android 2.2 (codenamed Froyo) and Android 2.3 (codenamed Gingerbread) devices which meet the Flash Player hardware system requirements.

Flash Player 10.2 beta will be released for Android 3.0 (codenamed Honeycomb) tablets on the same day. The beta will at the same time as Google's first system update to Android 3.0 (version 3.0.1), which will ship for the Motorola Xoom. Adobe is of course promising subsequent updates, including a final release of Flash Player 10.2 for Android 3.0.

Here's what's new in Flash Player 10.2 for Android:

  • Hardware accelerated video presentation for H.264 (Android 3.0.1+ only): the update will leverage the Stage Video rendering pipeline to enable users of Android 3.0 tablets to enjoy smooth playback of high-definition Flash video content on the Web. Users will experience reduced CPU usage and higher frame rates for existing H.264 video content.
  • Deeper integration with the Android browser rendering engine (Android 3.0.1+ only): this will result in faster and better rendering of rich, interactive web content, and a browsing experience similar to the desktop. Because Flash Player can now render content as part of the webpage along with other components such as HTML, images, and gif animation, users will experience improved scrolling of web pages and uncompromised viewing of rich, immersive content in the way intended by the page designer. Flash Player rendered content will continue to be placed in a separate window on top of HTML in the Android 2.2 and 2.3 browsers, as these browsers do not support the new Android 3.0 browser rendering model.
  • Enhanced performance for the latest smartphones and tablets: take advantage of the current generation of multi-core, GPU-enabled processors to deliver Flash videos, games, and other interactive Web content.
  • Automatic soft keyboard support: users of touch screen devices will enjoy a more optimized experience interacting with rich content that requires keyboard input. This feature simplifies the development of multiscreen applications that require keyboard input, making it easier for developers to optimize desktop applications for mobile devices. A new ActionScript API enables developers to automatically launch and display the soft keyboard.

In addition to the availability of Flash Player 10.2 on the Android Market, the new version will of course come pre-installed on many upcoming tablets and smartphones or delivered as an OTA update to existing devices in market. Adobe has posted a list of certified devices for the update if you want to check if yours is on the list.