Adobe announced last year that it was winding down support for Flash on mobile devices. Now the end is in sight.

The company won’t be offering a certified version of Flash Player for Google’s new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. And while you can still download and install Flash Player for Android from the Google Play Store for a little while, Adobe will pull the app from the store on August 15th, 2012.

Adobe Flash Player 11 for Android

Actually, things are a little more complicated than that. The app will still be available from the Play Store — but only to provide updates for users that already have Flash installed. New users won’t be able to install Flash from the Google Play Store.

If you want to continue using Flash, Adobe recommends using a certified phone or tablet that comes with Flash preloaded or to download it from the Play Store before August 15th… and to continue running Android 4.0 or earlier.

This doesn’t mean that devices running Android 4.1 can’t support Flash. But Adobe isn’t putting any time or effort into ensuring compatibility, so don’t expect everything to work properly.

In fact, Adobe officially recommends uninstalling Flash if you update your device from Android 4.0 to Android 4.1.

To be honest, this probably won’ t be that big a deal for most users.

A few years ago, one of the key points differentiating Google Android from Apple iOS was that Android supported Flash. But it never did it very well.

For the most part, installing Flash on an Android phone allows you to see more ads on web pages that take longer to load, and to play a few games and videos optimized for mobile devices.

Over the past few years, most major online video sites have changed the way they stream content so that you can watch videos on mobile devices that don’t have Flash player installed. And many websites that do still have Flash-only content including many casual gaming sites, don’t work well with mobile devices anyway since many Flash games are designed to be played with a keyboard and mouse, not a touchscreen and fingertip.


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18 replies on “Gone in a flash: Adobe killing Flash for Android downloads August 15th”

  1. I am super frustrated. I have a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and it automatically updated to the newest android version a couple of weeks ago. We primarily used the tablet to check emails, facebook, and my kids loved watching on-line episodes of Pokemon. Now we can’t watch any on-line episodes and for a family that opted out of the cable tv business this makes us cranky. We bought an android device because we knew that ipad operating systems couldn’t view these sites because they lacked compatibility with Adobe Flash. If I knew beforehand that I was going to be this limited, I would have considered an ipad in the first place. I am currently trying to figure out how to revert to an earlier android operatin system. Personally my tablet was working well… why do they have to change so much??!!

  2. “A few years ago, one of the key points differentiating Google Android
    from Apple iOS was that Android supported Flash. But it never did it
    very well.”

    bullshit! I use my Dolphon browser in Desktop Mode. It works just as well as my desktop PC! I have yet to find a single flash problem.

    Why in hell would Adobe push everyone to create things in flash and then just stop supporting it on mobile devices, right as they are powerful enough to use flash well?

    Android is Linux! Is Adobe stopping support for Linux? If not, then it should be easy to just create an apk version from the Linux version, right?

    Last, if Adobe is going to stop allowing us to use flash, then let someone else take over the flash platform! I am positive the open source community will be overjoyed to be in control of flash updates and support.

    1. you are forgetting, like most, that this is ONLY on JB (v4.1) and upwards… and they only have 0.8 of the *android* usage, compared the 60% of V2.3.x, and 16% of 4.0.x ….

      It rather depends on how many noobs think JB is great….. I’ll bet they take it back to the shop, ‘becuz the videos dont work’ LOL LOL 🙂

  3. By the time my phone gets Android 4.1 (if at all), hopefully sites I visit would have found a way to use HTML5 with DRM. In the meantime, I’m glad Adobe will still provide security updates. It’s probably the biggest security hole in my phone.

    I don’t understand why Adobe is pulling the app from the Play Store if they’re still going to provide updates for existing installs. Maybe they’re forcing OEMs to pay a fee to include Flash on future non-4.1 Android devices.

    1. Aside from patches, Adobe is not updating the Flash Player for Android. So it’s getting to the point it won’t work with the newer releases.

      Though those who license the Flash Player code can continue to provide their own updates. It’s just Adobe itself will only be doing it for the desktop market.

      While Adobe does provide alternatives for service providers, as their Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5 and later can automatically convert video streams for devices that don’t have the Flash Player.

      It’s just sites like Amazon Instant Video may not opt for that convenience as they may prefer people to use their Amazon Kindle Fire to access the service on mobile devices.

      While sites like Hulu would prefer mobile users pay a subscription fee and would block Flash users anyway if they detect it being used on a mobile device.

      For example, my dad has a RIM Playbook and it supports Flash. So can log onto Amazon Prime to play movies, etc. but Hulu blocks it because it detects that it’s a mobile device.

      So there’s also pressure from the service providers to move away from Flash to systems they can more easily charge us for…

      1. Like I said, why would Adobe stop installs on pre-4.1 Android devices if they’re still providing patches for those versions? The Google Play Store has filters that only allow installs on specific Android versions, devices and and networks.

        1. A few possibilities…

          One, the version of the player for Android is starting to get old. So it makes sense for Adobe to want to focus support on newer versions.

          While you can actually still get the player through the archive for all previous version. It just won’t be supported though the Play Store and that means no more automatic updates for patches.

          Two, Google itself may not want them to continue as it promotes fragmentation with the newer versions of Android not being compatible and neither Google or Adobe will necessarily want to deal with any more tech support issues.

          Three, Google has Chrome now on Android and it would give them a edge if that’s the only way to use Flash on Android. While the focus on desktop browsers is where Adobe is headed anyway.

          Four, Adobe is working on indirect and alternate ways for people to use Flash. So there’s a lessening need for a Flash Player for their business model.

          1. AIR is the new way, its on android market..and maybe already on your PC!!
            This will handle *native* video, and will also work with HTML5…

            Do also note the time scale!! JB will take months to *officially* out.. If you want to mess with beta or hacked roms, that’s your own problem, adobe will not help you!!

            Its easy enough to save the APK, and it may even work with your hacked JB…

            And by the time a ‘proper’ JB is out, someone may have hacked it to get flash working, or *even* convinced AIR to play it!!! stranger things have happened…
            quote me, I just look at the boasting of some of these posters, and wonder if they are just ’empty’ or not… 🙂

          2. AIR isn’t new and it’s mainly used for app/web development but it is a back door way that Adobe is keeping Flash on all devices, including Apple’s iOS devices.

            The video site “SnagFilms” for example is based on AIR and they have a app for playing videos for the iPad. Though such support isn’t the same as having the Flash Player Plug-In but you’re right that Flash isn’t completely being removed…

            For others less familiar with AIR…


            There’s also Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5 for site developers to still use Flash to directly stream video to everyone, including iOS users and not need them to have Flash running on their devices.

          3. They’ve been working on Edge for about a year now. It’s basically a HTML5 developers product that they’ll be adding to their product line up.

            So Adobe will be providing tools for both traditional Flash and HTML5 developers.

          4. “Three, Google has Chrome now on Android and it would give them a edge if
            that’s the only way to use Flash on Android. While the focus on
            desktop browsers is where Adobe is headed anyway.”

            The Chrome browser does NOT support flash… so much for that!

          5. No, Chrome supports Flash!

            Even with Adobe dropping direct support for Android and Linux, Google still has it’s own solution!

            Basically, since Chrome 20, Google has offered the Pepper-based Flash plug-in for Chrome that they brought into the stable channel on Linux and the Chrome Android app supports Pepper plug-ins, too!

            They just haven’t added that support to Android Chrome app yet.

          6. It does for desktop and for Chrome OS/Chromebooks… But yes, it appears they are keeping the Android version limited for some reason… even some other features are mainstream Chrome is still lacking… it is puzzling…

  4. Should be interesting if this somehow starts giving Windows 8/RT/Phone8 a edge with even the Flash “light” system they’re using that only allows trusted sites to run Flash.

    Many sites do now offer HTML5 alternatives but the styles, layouts, etc can still vary significantly from site to site, still lack proper DRM support, and quality and performance could still be better but maybe in another year all that may be addressed… we’ll have to wait and see.

  5. Solution that works for people without root and much technical knowledge:

    1. Install “Airdroid” from Market.
    2. Conect from your desktop computer to your phone via Airdroid.
    3. Go to Apps Manager and “backup” Adobe Flash – This will generate a selfcontained APK file of Flash.
    4. You can use this APK on any phone, including the one it came from, to (re-) install flash at any time.

  6. Well this is disappointing, going to have to figure out another way to stream Amazon Prime, ESPN3, and a few other streaming services which use Flash. Seems like since the HTML5 vs Flash debate has started the only progress made has been Youtube (oh and quite a few ads, shame that having click for flash isn’t as effective as it once was). Is HTML5 still a garbled mess(everyone has their own version and there’s compatibility issues between them) and lacks proper DRM?

    1. Well, Android 5 may be running Ubuntu as a desktop mode. So may be able to continue to use Flash with desktop web browsers that we may see next year.

      Alternatively, there’s Open Source Gnash and LightSpark Linux alternatives to the Flash Player that could be ported though don’t yet provide 100% Flash support. Along with the possibility that Google may add Flash support to Chrome for Android.

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