Goodbye Android Flash Player

Adobe Flash Player logo
Source: Adobe Flash Player logo | Chrome Web Store

It appears that HTML 5 has won the war against Adobe Flash Player for mobile devices. Since yesterday, Flash for Android devices is no longer available for download, while Adobe announced that it has stopped development of the plugin for mobile devices.

Besides the removal of the Flash player from Google Play’s list, users won’t be able to get any updates for bug fixes unless a mobile device already has Flash pre-installed by its manufacturer. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean doesn’t support Adobe Flash either.

So for users who have Flash and then updated their devices to Jelly Bean, the company recommends that they uninstall the Adobe product. That’s because the pre-installed Flash is not certified and it could cause “unpredictable behavior.”

Missing Android Flash Player?

By delisting Flash Player on Google Play, Adobe just wants users to move on from the application on their handsets. However, users may miss the Flash Player, as some videos have not yet been switched to HTML 5. In case a user still wants to run Flash Player on his or her device, he or she may just go straight to Adobe’s website, download the APK file, and sideload it to the mobile device using a third-party service.

On the flip side, this installation process is designed for developers. This means that installation from the archive won’t entitle a user for updates from Google Play until September next year.

There are also other ways on how users can get the Flash Player for their Android devices. However, the company doesn’t recommend it, and the user experience from the plugin can be very poor. There’s also the possibility of bringing malware to an Android device by downloading the Flash Player from third-party sources.

Living a Flash-free World

Despite exerting its best effort, Flash for Android never delivered a seamless user experience. In fact, owners of Android devices experienced choppy playback, and it also sucks on battery life on some cases. However, the plugin is installed on over 100 million Android devices, and it has 4.3 average star rating on Google Play.

Because the Android Flash Player is no longer available, this may compel content providers to adopt HTML 5 videos. Meanwhile, iOS did not support Flash since the first day, neither did Windows Phone. In addition, development for BlackBerry and Symbian continues to cease. Other than PC, there won’t be any place for Flash soon, although Windows 8 might have limited support for the plugin.

Nevertheless, everyone will have to move on sooner or later.

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