Android devices running Android 3.0, 2.3 or 2.2 will be able to download Flash 10.2 in beta form from the Android Market later today.

Quel excitement, as it brings with it the ability to load Flash content on Android 3.0, faster performance to those with Flash 10.1 and better battery life to a host of handsets.

The new version was built with the tablet-specific Honeycomb OS in mind, but older devices can benefit too as long as they meet the system requirements.

Duel of the cores

Although you'll notice the greatest leap in performance on dual-core devices, single corers can get in on the action too with a slight improvement to YouTube video playback, for example.

Engadget, which enjoyed a spot of early hands-on time with the update, discovered that it can't yet handle 720p content, displaying a series of still images instead of a nice smooth HD video.

Apparently this is because the beta version isn't running at full speed ahead; hardware rendering and compositing will be added in a later release within a matter of weeks, at which point 720p should start running properly.

Of course, here in the UK we're still awaiting any Android 3.0-toting tablets, the first of which looks set to be the Motorola Xoom. At least here it will actually launch with the Flash beta already available – a minor consolation.