Aug 14 AT 1:20 PM Dustin Earley 42 Comments

Flash for Android is dead


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.

Source: The Verge

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • MitchRapp81

    Meh, not sure if this will affect Android users that much… If sites aren’t using embedded youtube clips (redirecting us to the youtube app) then they should, or switch it to HTML5 or wtv.

    • TRUTH


  • ajonrichards

    After seeing multiple concepts demonstrating the power of HTML5, I’ve got to say “good riddance”. Flash went out with a whimper and not a bang.

    • M0nk

      I have no problems with flash in my galaxy note running 4.1. Actually is the first phone where flash works OK and do not kill the phone, so this is contradictory. The same with my PC, flash is a lot more stable than before.

      HTLM5 is not optimized in Android yet and do not support GPU hardware acceleration like flash supports. Try to see a HTML5 Full HD video on a phone/tablet and then the same video with Flash… I agree that in the future HTML5 is better, but now is not there yet.

  • MoSDeeb

    I’m okay with seeing inferior products such as Flash going away. HTML5 has been putting on quite the showing.


    Whoop de damn do (in my Derrick Coleman voice) lol

  • Fulaman

    Not exactly too sure why you say Flash doesn’t perform too well on desktop (I have had very few problems with Flash on desktop). I use Google Chrome on Desktop, and sometimes Adobe Flash crashes and I have to restart the browser, but I don’t know if that’s the fault of the browser or Flash (it happens seldomly).

    • ajonrichards

      You’re contradicting the point you’re trying to make, unfortunately. For all the intrinsic benefits Flash provides, even their venerable desktop plugin brings some level of instability to the browser platform.

      • Homncruse

        Precisely. The desktop Flash plugin has been around since approximately 10 years before electricity was discovered, and yet Adobe *still* can’t work out the stability quirks.

        • Dags -

          It’s not Adobe, it’s Flash developers. Flash is very powerful and developers can basically do what they want. It leaves it up to the container (in this case the browser) to handle the runaway animation/app. If Adobe put in place restrictions about what sorts of things developers might do (restricted frame rate, restricted memory usage, etc) then Flash wouldn’t be half as powerful as it is now.

          I really don’t understand why people blame Flash for crap developers. If someone writes a crap program for Windows/OSX/Linux and it goes postal and needs to be killed by the OS, people quite rightly blame the developer of the program and not the OS. But with Adobe, it’s all their fault? I can tell you, in almost all cases it’s not.

          Have you ever received a warning that a page with Javascript has become unresponsive? It’s easy for a developer to do – just create an infinite loop in your code. No-one ever says, “Well this browser sucks!”, do they?

  • Dragonithe

    bring out the source code and give it to xda.
    so those who want it can be happy.

    • ayocuz

      I’ll take flash in one of those jelly bean roms I be flashing. The lack of flash is really the main reason I won’t use a jelly bean Rom as a daily driver, because they really are stable enough in their development right now

  • MyMilan

    Good riddance flash. In this day and age it’s not needed anyway. HTML5 does everything better. Flash can now join the ranks of the Edsel and betamax. One less plugin to clog up your computer.

    • Dags -

      HTML5 is roughly equivalent to the functionality in Flash Player 6. You know HTML5 Canvas is bitmap-based and doesn’t even resize gracefully (ignoring SVG which is slow and not HTML5)? You know that almost every javascript implementation can’t utilise multiple cores? WebGL and Native Client show a lot of promise but may never be part of the HTML5 standard. The only thing HTML5 does better is some video on some browsers on some systems.

  • shadhussain

    i’m a little disappointed. i don’t really care for flash myself. i’m happy to accept that html5 is taking over BUT there are still more than a few websites i visit regularly that require flash content. until now, on my tablet running ICS, i’ve used chrome as my broswer of choice and flipped over to a flash supported browser IF i needed.

    i was happy that i had the choice to switch between performance levels as i wished depending on my needs. it is true that flash content is being reduced, but it was nice to have that *choice*. wasn’t that one of android’s strengths to start with?

    • Tangent

      Exactly my feelings on this. I have no problem at all with Flash going away in favor of HTML5, but the fact is there are websites out there that still use Flash. The biggest problem is the websites that still use Flash are often the ones that are the least maintained and will probably take years to update to HTML5 if they ever do…

      • Gerald

        EXACTLY my opinion as well. My primary gripe with the whole mobile industry is the lack of the ability to CHOOSE what I want, when i want it. Whether it’s being locked into a mobile contract and then not being able to switch to the latest and greatest phone or not being able to get the latest and greatest phone because it wasn’t released to my carrier; and now this. We’re always, always, always having to wait, wait, wait — smartphone users, in my opinion, are one of the least appreciated group of consumers. When I first heard of the transition to HTML5, I knew there would be this significant time gap between the 2 technologies. One would think that for all the dollars we contribute to the industry for devices, mobile service, purchase of applications and the the advertising dollars that are made off of us by Google and others, we would be more appreciated and handled with more consideration. Instead we get “pimped” along and there’s hardly much we can do about it.

  • artesea

    Not too sure about all the anti-flash stuff. Whilst I know Adobe wanted it to be the easy way for devs to create web apps, and on a mobile the touch vs mouse never really got going, for embedded videos on sites yet to go to HTML5 it’s perfect.
    The number of times using an iOS device and seeing “Flash needed to watch this content” and going phew at least my Android can do this simple task.
    And whilst Chrome for Android is my preferred browser, I still have Dolphin installed to open pages where flash is required.

  • halo0

    It’s pretty annoying not to be able to watch most web video in the stock browser on the Nexus 7.

  • troy

    I hate this but I don’t know Why you people think HTML 5 is great???? Too be honest it’s limited alot I can’t play the walking dead social game on HTML 5 can I????? Nooo Soo if can’t play my Facebook games on HTML 5 Why do people want this limited bullshit??? I wish adobe wasn’t such a apple dick rider and shouldn’t had listen too them I love flash and now it’s gone because of stupid people not knowing what’s good or bad about HTML, 5 and Flash:-(


      Woo sah…

    • Salted

      There is so much wrong with what you just said.

    • Homncruse

      Um… there’s more to the internet than Facebook games. Complain to the Facebook app developers about their reliance on Flash, which has been dying for a *long* time, and this announcement is nearly a year old. If it’s out of their control (I don’t know if Facebook requires Flash for apps, but I don’t think so), complain to Facebook.

      • Homncruse

        Downvoted by Flash developers freaking out about job security, I’m sure.

        • Dags -

          More likely downvoted by people who work with both technologies and know that HTML5 is roughly a decade away from replicating the functionality of Flash.

  • Nathan D.

    Yeah, this was coming for a while now, so no surprise here.

  • alexanderharri3

    This is a bummer, not because it was great….but until the web no longer uses Flash for crucial website components (yes, it is decreasing, but all too prevalent), Flash for Android could make do at at least display things while failing to work properly.

    Who am I kidding, you couldn’t properly interact anyways, good riddance.

    Here’s looking at you website designers – ixnay on the Flash or have a nice mobile site.

  • Thade780

    Considering that my browser is set to desktop I actually need flash. That’s why I saved the apk.

  • madog

    I’ve always found it useful having flash work on android, the amount of times I go to a news site and the video is a custom flash player but I’m still able to view the content. It’s going to take a good while for all these sites to switch over to html 5 meanwhile I’m going to be looking at a blank space on a web page.

  • David maynard

    Lol you can get flash on 4.1 by side loading it no biggy it works great.

    • shadhussain

      that solves my problem!

  • SadFace

    Pron sites will suffer! oh! and me too :(

  • jamal adam

    The beginning of a new era.

  • cthonctic

    While I’m certainly not sad to watch Flash go the way of the dodo per se, I’m kind of miffed at the timing of Adobe’s withdrawal. Flash is still heavily used out there on the web and at this point in time, HTML5 is still nothing to write home about.
    Well, let’s hope this will speed things up a bit (despite how incedibly slowly W3C is moving along).

  • cviniciusm

    Better explanation:
    “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.”

  • Flash for Android

    Download and save the apk. Both tab and phone versions just click an ad to help pay for the server. Thanks

    • Thade780


  • dVyper

    A sad day. Flash is a great technology, hampered by it’s being so easy to code for and therefore its use by bad coders who create badly performing SWFs, making people think that it is intrinsically slow. Except for HD video, Flash destroys HTML5 performance-wise for all other visual tasks.

  • revs

    i have never had a single prblem with flah on any of my android phones
    i love it and will miss it

  • Dev1359

    I just made a backup of the app with Titanium Backup before I upgraded to Jelly Bean and then restored it, it actually still works perfectly in Jelly Bean for me. If you have the apk you should still be able to install it.

    Personally I still need Flash for my porn streaming needs and bootleg sports sites lol

  • Chevy1981

    A decade? I don’t think so. More like a few of years. Maybe less. Your going on the assumption that technology still moves at the same rate as it did when Flash first hit the web. Tech progresses faster year after year and will continue to do so. I’d say 3 years until HTML5 hits it’s stride with functionality and five years until Flash sites and elements will be looked at as old and dated. If my prediction ends up being wrong it will be because it happened faster then I thought. I work with both regularly and as a designer I’d rather design something once with a little less functionality that all browsers can view rather then having multiple versions of the same site. It just makes more sense. Personally I have yet to require a Flash type element that can’t be accomplished using CSS, HTML 5, and Java. Then again I prefer cleaner minimalist sites.

  • Z.Kew-Denniss

    Well since my S2 will be getting jelly bean soon, I will now organize a goodbye party for the flash player….