Just one short year after it was introduced, Adobe announced it would be backing away from Flash for Android. We knew this day was coming, Android 4.1 doesn’t allow for the installation of Flash, and now it’s official. Starting tomorrow, Adobe will disable all new installs of Flash for Android.
Lots went wrong for Adobe with Flash mobile. It’s been argued that Apple’s lack of support for Flash mobile is what killed the project, but there’s more to it than that. In a launch surrounding an immense level of excitement, Flash for Android simply never took off. If it had, other platforms would have been forced to adopt. Instead, HTML5 has been acknowledged as the future of mobile web, and it’s slowly but surely creeping in on desktops as well.
Mobile isn’t the only place where Flash is dying. New Apple machines come Flash-free, with the company trying to steer you away from it. And Microsoft has taken the same route, offering limited support for Flash in Windows 8. But don’t think this is the end for Adobe. Not by a long shot. They aren’t totally done with Flash for PC, and they’re already committed to working with HTML5.
There’s a reason why Flash adoption on Android was so poor. Flash performance on desktop isn’t great as it is, and Flash mobile failed to even live up to those standards. Flash for Android never stood up to its full potential. And now it never will, but don’t confuse that for a bad thing. As the lines between mobile and desktop further blur, the death of Flash is ultimately good for consumers.