Adobe ending support for Flash for Android, disabling new installs this August

Just two days ago Google announced Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean”, the next and greatest version of Android, hailing its advanced features such as Google Now and its increased smoothness with Project Butter. Alongside that announcement came a quiet announcement from Adobe, saying that Android 4.1 would be the first Android version without “certified implementations” of Flash–that is to say, the first version where Flash is not officially supported:

…we have not continued developing and testing Flash Player for this new version of Android and its available browser options.  There will be no certified implementations of Flash Player for Android 4.1. …  If a device is upgraded from Android 4.0 to Android 4.1, the current version of Flash Player may exhibit unpredictable behavior, as it is not certified for use with Android 4.1.

This is the direct conclusion of Adobe’s November announcement that Android 4.0 would be the final version with Flash support.

Just because Adobe is discontinuing Flash support for newer versions of Android does not mean that it is immediately closing the doors and ceasing distribution, however. Flash will in the mean time continue to be available for all devices running Android 2.2 and above, including Android 4.0. It is unclear if Android 4.1 devices will even have the ability to download Flash.

Adobe will eventually be ceasing to distribute Flash for Android, and will block new Google Play installations starting August 15th:

Beginning August 15th we will use the configuration settings in the Google Play Store to limit continued access to Flash Player updates to only those devices that have Flash Player already installed. Devices that do not have Flash Player already installed are increasingly likely to be incompatible with Flash Player and will no longer be able to install it from the Google Play Store after August 15th.

[Adobe via The Verge]

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6 comments

  1. Coyote

    I have seen several flash apps, just games as I recall and most looked like direct ports using some sudo-browser to contain the flash (it wasn’t pretty). But I do have to agree youtube runs flash on “my” device but then I have it set to emulate desktop when a website asks. And here in lies the problem, without flash on mobile devices yet continuing to support and improve the desktop version we will inevitably wind up with 2 versions of every site that requires media content. Sadly this is becoming the norm.

  2. Locutus
    Author/

    @Ed: The YouTube app is most certainly not Flash based (nor is the mobile website), and every site I know of has been slowly transitioning away from Flash-base materials.
    Mobile video sites are also all HTML5-based, as they’re designed to work on the iPhone and on Android.

    Lastly, just a quick question. Which apps are Flash based? I’m not trying to sound demeaning, I actually want to know.

  3. Locutus
    Author/

    @tom the horse: First, you should think back to the last time you intentionally used Flash on your device. For me, it’s been quite a while! Flash also slows down devices, and isn’t optimized for mobile screens (a lot of sites require hover actions, which is impossible on a touchscreen). Adobe realizes all of these things, and has decided to get out of the mobile Flash business and instead push their own HTML5 creation tools for future use. It’s really more of pulling a useless and dying product out of the market.

  4. tom the horse

    I am new to Android, so perhaps I am misunderstanding the implications. Could someone chime in on what this means, exactly? From the unbridled layman’s point of view, it sounds like the beginnings of some sort of a “let’s snuff Android” campaign –or am I over thinking this (or not thinking enough)?

    Thanks in advance.