Adobe FlashTime is like FaceTime, but for Android
Adobe is set to launch version 2.5 of AIR not only for the desktop operating systems, but for Android as well, and around the same time. Furthermore, the Android version will be on par, feature-wise, with the desktop version.
Using the upcoming AIR 2.5, Adobe has built the very creatively named FlashTime, which, you guessed it, is like FaceTime, but for Android. Unlike FaceTime, it also features a text-based chat system.
The FlashTime demo shows a video call between two Google Nexus One phones. The video goes through Adobe’s Stratus servers.
Mark Doherty, FlashTime’s developer, warns that some of the demoed features may not make it into the final v1 of FlashTime.
While the release of FlashTime will certainly do nothing to make the relations between Apple and Adobe any better, it will also create yet another fragmentation issue.
Only people using Apple products will be able to use FaceTime. And only people having Android phones will be able to use FlashTime on a mobile device. No interoperation in sight.
Which is quite funny, since there’s been a standard way to make video calls between mobile phones for years, part of UMTS (3G). Arguably, the video quality is quite bad using it, but perhaps if Apple and Adobe had focused on improving that instead of launching their own proprietary solutions, such services would have been open for a lot more people.
And let’s not forget that the aforementioned 3G calling service did never really take off anywhere it was offered. Whether or not that was exclusively due to the fact that such calls were never free remains to be seen.
If FaceTime and FlashTime gain traction, then that’s clearly so. If they’ll remain niche services though, it may mean that people just aren’t comfortable with video calls on mobile devices.