No Flash plug-in coming to Android 4.1—ever

What’s that sound? It’s the death knell ringing for Flash on Android. Adobe announced yesterday that its Flash plug-in doesn’t support—and will never support—the new version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The company plans to restrict access to the Flash plug-in in the Google Play store, as well.

Adobe opens the announcement by saying Flash is more tightly interwoven with Android than other apps, and it therefore requires "extensive testing to ensure web content works as expected." That testing is conducted as part of a certification process, which Adobe requires hardware makers to undergo. The announcement continues…

Devices that don’t have the Flash Player provided by the manufacturer typically are uncertified, meaning the manufacturer has not completed the certification testing requirements. In many cases users of uncertified devices have been able to download the Flash Player from the Google Play Store, and in most cases it worked. However, with Android 4.1 this is no longer going to be the case, as 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.
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.

In short, starting on August 15, only folks running older versions of Android with Flash already installed will have access to the plug-in. Everyone else will have to do without it—even users who upgrade older devices to Jelly Bean.

The demise of the Flash plug-in for handhelds should come as no surprise. Last November, Adobe said it would stop development of Flash for Android and BlackBerry devices after releasing version 11.1 of the plug-in. (iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad have never supported in-browser Flash to begin with.) Adobe said Flash would live on in PCs and as part of mobile apps packaged with the company’s AIR runtime.

Comments closed
    • moresmarterthanspock
    • 7 years ago

    Well, good for Adobe then. Flash was never meant to be a video player. I remember Macromedia, and how Flash was only used for vector-based animations. And I believe before Flash it was Macromedia Shockwave.

    • End User
    • 7 years ago

    I am exceptionally pleased that my soon to be shipped Nexus 7 will not run the Flash plug-in.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      cool story bro. NOTHING LIKE HAVING LESS CHOICE TO MAKE YOU HAPPY! you don’t HAVE to install it either way. Man, i wish i had customers like you.

        • End User
        • 7 years ago

        Which version of Windows Phone are you running on your Focus?

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          8107. that’s irrelevant. I’m not in favor of NOT having the option for flash on my phone. i MAKE DO with the fact it’s not there, but given the choice, i’d use it.

            • End User
            • 7 years ago

            What can I say. You like Flash. You like Microsoft. You like crap.

            Aim low. That is what you are good at.

        • deruberhanyok
        • 7 years ago

        A lot of phones have it pre-installed and you don’t have the choice of removing it.

        As far as Flash goes, I’d rather not have it, than have it and be unable to get rid of it.

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 7 years ago

        Choice is less important than having devices that work well. Flash is terrible and should have been killed off years ago.

    • TAViX
    • 7 years ago

    FLASH = Worst crap ever invented. Next should be Java…

    • sparkman
    • 7 years ago

    die flash die

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    Best contribution Steve Jobs ever made….

    kill flash.

      • adisor19
      • 7 years ago

      Best contribution for the open web.

      Adi

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        Apple has been an enemy of anything “open” for a very very long time unless “open” is a one-way street that improves Apple’s bottom line while other people do the hard work.

        The *real* reason Jobs opposed Flash is not because he is some God-like superbeing (despite you blind worship) but because Flash would have allowed for a bunch of ways to circumvent the App store.

          • Deanjo
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]Apple has been an enemy of anything "open" for a very very long time[/quote<] Meanwhile I rsync to darwin on a daily basis, use a webkit based browser, while rendering with opencl and compiling on llvm. Would you like a copy of the logs? I'm sure I can print it up via cups.

            • chuckula
            • 7 years ago

            Wow.. look at that long list of technologies you just listed. Lesee here:

            0. Darwin Kernel: Lol, Darwin outside of Mac OS X has been dead for years now. Without the massive and very non-UNIX like layers on top of Darwin that define OS X, Darwin is simply a frankensteined half-micro half-monolithic kernel with an outdated BSD userland.

            1. Rsync: Uh… I think that OS X *might* come with a (probably outdated) version of rsync installed, but Apple sure didn’t come up with it. Once again, I’m not saying that Apple doesn’t use open source software when it will provide a commercial benefit to Apple (read: free functionality without having to pay developers). Instead, I’m saying that Apple has no problem taking from open source, but major problems reciprocating in any way shape or form. In some ways, Apple is more hypocritical than Microsoft when it comes to open source.

            2. Webkit: As a KDE user, I can tell you some stories about where Webkit came from (Konqueror’s HTML engine) and what a PITA it was to get Apple to follow the GPL and send back the code changes it made.

            3. OpenCL: Once again, Apple has done little or nothing to advance OpenCL, and its support of OpenCL is more for show than anything else. Really. I know about the Photoshop demos too, but that’s more for demo purposes that serious work. Although in fairness to Apple on this one, I’m not overly impressed with OpenCL on any other platform either. It’s more smoke and mirrors and powerpoint slides than a solid architecture at this stage.

            4. LLVM: Once again, *not* an Apple project. Apple actually jumped on LLVM because it thought that GCC would present licensing issues with its locked-down ecosystem. LLVM is a very cool project, but unfortunately its optimizations are not up to the level of GCC and it will take a long time before it gets there.

            5. CUPs: CUPs was around for a very long time before Apple bought it out, I should know I used it back then. Since then, the main things I’ve seen are some application of CSS to the web interface and additions of support for Bonjour (an Apple specific technology). Other than that, I haven’t seen any major improvements in CUPs, but I will give Apple credit for at least providing commercial support to an open source project and for not close-sourcing it either.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            It is not if they came up with it or not, it is that they are active contributors to the open development of these projects. And those are just a small sample of the projects that they sponsor/contribute too.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            You just got told.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Told of projects that Apple contributes too openly? I already knew they did.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            Darwin source is available for every OS X release up to and including 10.7.4.

            [url<]http://opensource.apple.com/[/url<] I don't think the community builds Darwin ISOs anymore. Ubuntu and RHEL have pretty much wrapped up the non-OSX *nix market.

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 7 years ago

            How many of those technologies does Microsoft contribute to or support?

            Or do we only care about openness (or lack thereof) when it involves Apple.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            quality, politics and consistency aside, MS is a large open source contributor.

            [url<]http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/top-five-linux-contributor-microsoft/9254[/url<]

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 7 years ago

            The discussion was about support for open standards, and Microsoft’s contributions to the Linux kernel have been mostly focused on improving support within Linux for their decidedly closed Hyper-V virtualization platform. Not exactly the kind of progress the OMGOPEN dittoheads here seem to demand from tech companies*.

            *(only Apple; somehow everyone else is immune from that criticism)

            • chuckula
            • 7 years ago

            MS for all of its faults has never wrapped itself in the Open Source banner and pretended to be some sort of leader in “openness.” I would say MS and Apple are probably about on par overall, but it’s Apple’s two-faced attitude that it is somehow “open” while also locking down products in ways that MS can only dream about that I object to.

          • Corrado
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah, because all those music stores that sold DRM free music before Steve browbeat the music industry into letting iTunes do it were such a success! Wait, you mean iTunes was the first major seller of DRM free music? How could that be?!

            • chuckula
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]Wait, you mean iTunes was the first major seller of DRM free music?[/quote<] I guess Amazon doesn't count since it was selling DRM-free MP3s years before iTunes finally stopped slapping DRM on its files? Who really "loses" the most with DRM free music... Apple, who wants to sell iPods/iPhones/iWhatever, or the music labels?

          • Beelzebubba9
          • 7 years ago

          How would Flash allow users to circumvent the app store any more than the actually open HTML 5 web apps apple promoted?

          Jobs was right to want Flash off of mobile devices – its just terrible for battery life and doesn’t perform well on mobile hardware. Considering even Adobe is dropping flash support on mobile devices without a fight, I’m surprised that nerds – once Flash’s greatest detractors – are whining about its loss.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    When I read the headline I thought Google was the one who decided to ditch Flash, and I was a bit surprised to see that it was Flash itself that decided to let go. I guess the list is getting shorter and shorter, with Apple saying no to Flash not too long ago.

    Funny how Flash is shooting itself in the foot.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 7 years ago

    And nothing of value was lost.

      • Rand
      • 7 years ago

      Aside from the tons of websites that use flash heavily you mean?

        • DeadOfKnight
        • 7 years ago

        Well, hopefully this will cause them to adapt sooner rather than later.

        • Malphas
        • 7 years ago

        They won’t be using it for much longer if they want to remain successful.

        • faramir
        • 7 years ago

        For spam and banners ? As he said, nothing of value was lost. Flash must die and it is wonderful that its owner (Adobe) acknowledges that. What better way to kill this abomination than to cut support for it from the most used platform besides Windoze ?

        • superjawes
        • 7 years ago

        Like Youtube? Oh wait…other plugins can play those videos just fine.

        Someone will come up with either an emulator or alternative to cover legacy stuff, but that’s really all we need.

    • Corrado
    • 7 years ago

    Can’t wait to hear all the Flash fanboys that were in denial when Adobe said they were killing it and they didn’t really believe it.

    • Welch
    • 7 years ago

    Sounds to me like Microsoft and Adobe are in bed with one another and to make people think twice about buying an Android system, they will always support Microsoft, including Windows 8… which will be the new tablet and probably phone OS all in one.. so it will have flash support.

    Makes me think we might see this in court in the coming years as a anti-trust thing… just pure speculation.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      Didn’t MS say they would Ban Flash in Metro Web ? Yes they did.
      Isn’t it Google that actually include Flash built in their web browser?

      Case Dismissed…

        • Madman
        • 7 years ago

        And that explains Flash installed by bare Win8 setup?

    • HighTech4US2
    • 7 years ago

    Many review sites use flash in their reviews. Many web sites use flash.

    Are these sites now basically useless on Android 4.1?

      • TakinYourPoints
      • 7 years ago

      Most websites do not use Flash, that’s the thing. Flash navigation elements stopped being popular way back in 2006 or so. It was already well on the way out except as a video player and some browser games.

      The web is fine on Android 4.1, given that websites have used html 5 and non-Flash video containers for over four years now.

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        So in your web world flash was only used for web page menus and video ?1

        compare yahoo finance to google finance. Yahoo chart SUX while the Google version is excellent.
        When Google invested in this the only solution was Flash.

        Just checked google and they still use flash for their finance charts.
        So, what is your take on why google is still using Flash for this and not HTML5 ?

        Sadly if it wasn’t for flash HTML5 might never have existed… Flash was there in the mid 90s allowing interactive graphics over the web, it took the HTML community over a decade to catch up.
        And now, HTML5 is all the rage while flash is a bloat.. yet in benchmark test HTML5 is a dog.

        Flash is going away, thats for sure, but there was nothing alternatives in 2006 . thats why even the big boys of the internet used Flash (big boys = google)

          • TakinYourPoints
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]Flash is going away, thats for sure, but there was nothing alternatives in 2006[/quote<] Absolutely, and it was Adobe's platform to throw away. They achieved 99% penetration on desktops with a browser plugin ages ago. That's incredible, you couldn't ask for any better results. But they focused too heavily on improvements in that platform along the wrong vectors and ignored the writing on the wall as far as mobile goes. They continued focusing on a platform where efficiency wasn't a major concern. In mobile they took a huge hit from iOS ignoring them, but they were given a second chance with Android getting huge and being willing to let people run Flash. Years later, they still can't get a runtime going that will make you ever want to use it in a resource constrained environment instead of HTML5 or a native app (for when you need DRM and such), even knowing full well that the future of their platform rested on that feature. So either it was architecturally impossible to strip down the runtime to something more palatable to mobile and implement the necessary optimizations, Adobe can't hire anyone competent, or it's fundamentally impossible to create a plugin/runtime competitive with HTML5 for video. In any case, Adobe failed to deliver a viable mobile platform even after being given a second lease on life with Android. The fact that they've given up says a lot about their failure to execute and their lack of vision for the platform.

        • HighTech4US2
        • 7 years ago

        Well “Bank of America” uses flash on the login page. So I guess I won’t be able to do online banking on Android 4.1.

        So what else breaks because the Flash haters got Flash killed?

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          I am willing to bet BoA, as big as it is, has a dedicated app for online banking. Kind of sucks imo because I’d rather have as few apps as possible installed on a device but that might be the way things have to go.

      • The Wanderer
      • 7 years ago

      If nothing else, it may still be possible to get ongoing support via Gnash… which is a few Flash versions behind (and imperfect for another version or two past that, last I checked), but at least can provide basic functionality.

      Of course, actually getting Gnash for Android may be another story. It’s apparently entirely possible to compile it for that platform, but I don’t know whether anyone’s distributing compiled versions.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      Adi hasn’t seemed to mind for the last 4 years or so.

    • Visigoth
    • 7 years ago

    Good riddance! At last Adobe themselves realized just how bad their own product really is.

      • no51
      • 7 years ago

      I’d argue that flash itself isn’t too bad, but the way it can be abused is its downfall i.e. video/talking ads (at least for me).

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        Welcome to HTML5

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        Flash is absolutely terrible on any platform other then windows.

          • odizzido
          • 7 years ago

          I guess it’s just terrible on windows then.

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 7 years ago

        Basically this. There’s nothing really wrong with Flash, but having animated banner adds peg ac ore on my i7? That’s hateful.

    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    edit: since Adobe is killing Flash for mobile.. who cares ?

    • maxxcool
    • 7 years ago

    YAAHH!! $%^& you flash, one less device being abused by your bloated ancient asses… to bad we will still see it on windows forever…

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      Bloated? Many things can be said about Flash but bloated is not one of them.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      I recently manage to avoid installing Flash on Windows machines.

      Eventually some rubbish old site comes along that needs flash, and nostalgia gets the better of me but you can get a surprisingly long way without it.

    • RandomNull
    • 7 years ago

    Looks like I won’t be upgrading, I use Flash all the time on my Transformer Prime

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    This is just another example of a companies controlling nature killing its own product. It was a market leader but has withered under adobe’s stewardship.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    I can understand not supporting ongoing OS development as new OS versions rollout, it can’t be cheap to do all that certification and testing.

    What I don’t get is effectively pulling Flash altogether from the Google Play store. To assume that devices which don’t already have Flash installed are incompatible is asinine. There are still *new* devices being sold with ICS and even Gingerbread. Why prevent new download and installation completely?? Why can’t they just check for OS version – “if OS >= 4.1, device = incompatible”?

    I know everyone loves to hate Flash and will happily see this as another nail in the coffin, which is fine, but that doesn’t mean Flash should be impossible to get. Non-zealots have to be able to at least acknowledge that.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      Adobe did say in the past that Flash Android was on it’s death bed so folks should have had plenty of time to get HTML5 players working. But yeah this is abrupt.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      “it’s can’t”?

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        fixed :p must have rewritten the sentence and missed that

        <3

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          i know. and i know you’re a nazi about it.

          <3 u 2.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            I’m only a nazi about <3’ing you. Call it the ultimate tough love.

            • Meadows
            • 7 years ago

            Do get a room, sweet cheeks.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            why? you want to join us? if you’re good, maybe MMO will pm you the deets.

      • sparkman
      • 7 years ago

      Some haters are not zealots. I don’t hate Flash because I’m a zealot.

      I hate Flash because its an ugly pile of slow, buggy garbage.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        I am not making a case for any technical merits of Flash. Nor are all haters zealots, just that zealots tend to be the more irrational ones so I thought ‘even they’ might be able to see my point. I’m simply saying that to remove it from availability *entirely* if it’s not already installed, even for older Android versions [i<]which are still being sold on new devices[/i<] is too much. A lot of these devices are actually promoted as 'supporting Flash - get the full web' or whatever. Even Adboe's own reasoning doesn't necessitate the extreme move of disallowing installation on older OS versions, they could simply choose not to support it any more but still make it available for older OS versions.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      Abrupt, hard, but the right thing to do. Once the revenues start to dwindle it will force the people using it to use an open standard. I really wish a lot more companies other then apple and opera would have the balls to draw the line. If MS said 32-bit FU 5 years ago we wouldn’t be seeing an OS being released in 32-bit form. Sometimes it takes a swift kick in the a** to get things moving again.

    • superjawes
    • 7 years ago

    So…Adobe is killing Flash? If there are alternatives that work on Android, iOS, etc., I think that developers are just going to be encouraged to use those plugins instead…

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      The only “competitor” i know of is Silverlight, and MS hasn’t created an Android version that I know of.

        • adisor19
        • 7 years ago

        One could argue that HTML5 serves the same purpose minus the DRM crap.

        Adi

          • lilbuddhaman
          • 7 years ago

          Html5 gives the web developer a lot of controls that in the end I *really* don’t like. It brings websites back to the era of pop-ups and losing-control-of-whats-on-screen territory; albeit “safer”.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            whaaaaaaaaaaaaa?

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          I agree, but superjawes asked about plugins.

            • superjawes
            • 7 years ago

            I actually didn’t mean to ask anything. Maybe I’m ignorant of what Adobe has, but I always thought that they had the Flash and PDF money-makers, and it just seemed a little odd that they would just kill one of those rather than trying to compete and remain relevant.

            But, as pointed out, there are even more alternatives than I knew of, so maybe they just can’t compete anymore and are cutting their losses. Curious to see what happens to them now.

            • Malphas
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t think “cutting their losses” will be that accurate. I would assume they’ve more than made back their money from buying Macromedia and with the whole anti-Flash thing starting with Apple, and emerging HTML5 features they’ve decided to just call it a day and not invest much more money on developing it further. It’s probably been a semi-profitable enterprise overall since they bought it.

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 7 years ago

            AFAIK, Adobe makes their money selling content creation tools, and whether those output Flash or HTML5 means little to their core business. I’m sure they’d rather have more control than less in a perfect world, but the lack of fight in adobe when it came to mobile flash makes me think they’re not terribly concerned about its effect on their business

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        sliverlight is pretty much dead.

          • Deanjo
          • 7 years ago

          Pretty much? Nope. It IS dead.

            • The Wanderer
            • 7 years ago

            Tell that to the developers of Datatel Colleague. Their latest release migrates from a stand-alone client to a Web-based UI, which apparently depends entirely on Silverlight. We’ve had to deploy Silverlight in our organization for the first time as a result.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            There always be some morons that still deploy dead tech. When the creator declares it dead, it is dead.

            PS Microsoft declared it deprecated.

      • sschaem
      • 7 years ago

      javascript / webgl / html5 ?

      Adobe is killing Flash, been official for a while.

      This is basically an unfriendly reminder to Flash developers to “Stop what you are doing”

      The strategy is that Flash is getting swallowed up by AIR, a cross platform OS abstraction layer.

    • adisor19
    • 7 years ago

    Thanks Steve.

    Adi

      • cynan
      • 7 years ago

      Praying out loud again?

      Mods, please move this to R&P forums.

        • 5150
        • 7 years ago

        As much as Adi annoys me, at least we have proof that Steve existed.

          • blastdoor
          • 7 years ago

          ha ha ha… awesome post

          • cynan
          • 7 years ago

          Wait. What? You advocate that praying to a dead business mogul that you are pretty certain (can prove) existed is somehow of superior merit to praying to an omnipotent “being” that you’re not sure (can’t prove one way or another) exists? Interesting perspective that.

          OK. Woops. How did that happen? This really is getting sort of R&P now. Look what you started 5150. 😉

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            Yes, I believe his argument is that for some reason it’s better to pray when you know there can’t possibly ever be an answer. How bleak.

            Also, lest this gets too serious, here you go:
            [url<]http://xkcd.com/386/[/url<]

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      You are 100% correct Adi. Don’t feel discouraged by the down votes. It’s just sheep showing their hateboi colours. They can’t stand being showed up.

      • ronch
      • 7 years ago

      Hey Adi (if that’s your real name), here’s a hint: you don’t really have to be so formal and always put your name at the end of your post.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        Trying to change Adi’s signature is like trying to change the tide.

        derFunk

          • ronch
          • 7 years ago

          Perhaps.

          ronch

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