Is Adobe Packing Up Their Flash Player And Walking Away From Android? Say It Ain’t So


This could be it, folks. The end of an era. Adobe is going through some major changes. One of those changes involves the cutting of 750 jobs amid a broad restructuring. The other? According to ZDNet, Adobe will no longer support Flash on mobile devices — devices like the ones running Android. Now, we may be jumping the gun here and letting our fears get the best of us but apparently Adobe was quoted as telling developers,

“We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates.”

Apparently, Adobe is making a move towards AIR mobile apps and investing in HTML5. Adobe is expected to make an announcement in the coming days. Say what you will — this doesn’t sound too good. Especially for us Android users who have long flaunted our Flash superiority over iOS. Could we really be going back to our Android 2.1 days? What would you guys do if you lost Flash forever? As always we’ll keep you posted as we dig up more info.

[Via ZDNet]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I always root and uninstall Flash anyway, so I think it would be awesome if it just stopped coming on new phones.  It’s more or less completely useless for anything but slowing down my web browser.

    1. If you set it to “on demand” it doesn’t load flash, unless you want it. That means, no slowing of the browser. Without flash, that means no video from the browser. That would piss me off.

      1. No, it means no flash video in the browser.  So many sites are geared towards iPhone that most videos have HTML5 counterparts for phones that don’t have flash.  Believe me, uninstall flash and you won’t miss it a bit.

    2. Why do you have to root just to get Flash off? I thought that you had to download it to have it.

      1. Some phones come with it pre-installed in /system/app. My Mom’s Epic has it and I KNOW she didn’t download it herself from the Market.

        1. Hey, it’s not Android’s fault. Blame the crapware or bloatware on the carriers/manufacturers. Android by itself is pretty bare-bones and open to modification. Want ultimate “choice”? Root. Simple as that.

          1. LOL always blaming somebody else. Android/Google is obviously always free of blame, right? Typical fanboy nonsense. Google made the rules. The players (OEMs) are playing within those rules.

            And root is not “simple as that” for most people. I bet if you told your mother to root her phone, she wouldn’t be able to do it without any help.

          2. No, Google/Android is not always free of blame. Google has had some screw ups with Android. Info about the Galaxy Nexus is hard to be had and it’s been several weeks since it’s announcement. That’s a major fail on Google’s part.
            What you fail to realize is that Google didn’t really set any “rules”. They provided a completely open OS for anyone to adopt, modify, and put out for sale. Have you seen the Kindle Fire? It’s running a HEAVILY modified version of Android 2.3, and you don’t see Google trying to set up “rules” for that device, do you? The only requirements (that I know of) are for the use of Google’s apps (Maps, Gmail, etc). 
            And if you’re too stupid to follow some very simple directions to obtain root (usually just moving files to/from computer and phone, and typing in a few commands on the command line) then yeah, it’s not “simple as that”. But you might as well not have a computer if you can’t do those basic things. I  can’t count the number of video tutorials I’ve seen to root “x” phone. Even step-by-step written directions are pretty much fool-proof. If she had any inclination, she could root her phone no problem. I mean, you’d have to be stupid/computer illiterate to not be able to follow the steps here: And if you don’t know what something is, you GOOGLE IT. It really isn’t rocket science.

  2. Steve Job wins.

    1. Sadly yes, he was right! Damn it!

      1. I used to argue on why it was better to have Flash but deep down I knew it sucked big time.

        1. I would still rather have the option then to have the choice made for me.

      2. I don’t see any “sadly” about it.

        Steve Jobs was right, it was obvious he was right when he said it, and he deserves to be recognized for being right.

        I think his timing of banning flash was a bit premature, but that comes with having a large ego and having some vision of where things are ultimately headed.

        Now that flash will eventually disappear from Android (and hopefully desktop computers) this may finally, at long last, start the demise of flash on the web.

        Think what you want of Jobs or Apple, but he was right that we don’t need Flash.  Modern browsers and web standards make flash unnecessary.  Worse, flash is a closed black box of steaming proprietary, um, stuff.

        1. If Flash wasn’t present on our mobiles back then, we’d be stuck in the same limbo as the iOS users whenever visiting certain sites.

          This is just a progression from one technology to another. It does not prove that someone was right or wrong. Phrasing a sentence in that manner is almost like calling them a Fortune Teller.

          Flash was popular then and it is popular now. What would you do if it were uninstalled all of a sudden? What would you do back then if there were no Flash support?

          Just because something moves on doesn’t necessarily mean it was wrong or bad in the first place.

          Think about it.

          1. Just to be clear . . .

            I agree that it was good to have Flash on Android in the short term.

            However, I was hoping to see and am now delighted to see the demise of Flash. Hopefully no more flash anywhere on the web.

            When Flash came to Linux years ago, I was also happy about that, just as I was for Flash on Android.  But I’m even happier to see Flash go away like the horse and buggy.

            One of the last strongholds of flash will be for playing video.  But it is easy to see even the end of that on the horizon.

    2. Wrong.
      He lost, he’s DEAD.

      1. In which case we’ve all lost, because as far as I know we are all guaranteed to die.

        1. Speak for yourself, mortal.

      2. He is DEAD
        You are not (YET )
        He IS smart
        You are IDIOT

    3. Even in a ghostly form he can’t go back in time and remove the fact that android users have had an option that apple didn’t.

      1. You mean the option to use a product that is at best mediocre. I’ll pass as it never was implemented properly and just slowed the browser and consumed lots of memory.

        1. Which is, on android, entirely your *option*.

  3. Die Flash die!!!  Your linux support is just horrible!  Bring on html5.

  4. I’m fairly surprised by this.  I have no problem with Flash going away eventually, but there still are lots of sites that use it for video or dynamic content.

    1. i neither have a real problem with it ( not sure how much i use it since i have it set to on demand though) but if they stop supporting it maybe the sites will be forced to upgrade? Which would be a good thing. Either way i don’t think i will care to much.

  5. as long as we’ll get an alternative ..html5 would probably take a while..

  6. I set the plugin option in the browser to “on demand” so I can select which flash animations I want to play or not. Really like having the option to choose which flash files to view or not. But, while I don’t think Flash took off in the mobile market, I would consider it a loss for a product with great potential. Unlike HTML, it provided the developers and users with a more consistent result (ala Java) with great animations.

  7. Maybe then I can actually load phandroid on my phone, without the annoying flash ad that’s nearly impossible to close so I can see the damn page. Long run on sentence means I’ m pissed!

    1. Set your browser to only load Flash on demand.

      1. It is set to that. That doesn’t stop the big ad with the green arrow from hijacking my screen.

        1. This is poor mobile web design, not Flash’s fault… as you stated, the problem occurs even when Flash is disabled.

          1. I know. I waa using the flash article for a chance to rip Phandroid for their awful page layout. Their app want to run background services. Uggghh.

        2. So what makes you think that the ad is flash?!

          Edit: even the regular site is poor… Scott’s reply did not load until after I replied

    2. Use the Phandroid app and it’s not an issue.

      1. Last time I used it half the articles wouldn’t load. Somehow I doubt they fixed it.

      2. people signed up for 3g/4g service is to use the browser. 

      3. I would love to use the Phandroid app. However, it wants to run notification services, even with notifications disabled. I may just have to give up on phandroid. What they need is a mobile site like

    3. Flash is not the only problem with trying to view Phandroid on my mobile phone.  I finally just gave up and don’t even try anymore.

    4. If they are going to develop HTML5 I really don’t care. I love Flash sure but if an alternative takes its place, whats the difference?

      1. The difference is html5 isn’t ready. It’s like quitting a job, before you have secured a new one. Just not a good idea.

        1. HTML5 is more than ready! People are the one not ready to adapt! This has been a long time coming. Everything flash can do, HTML5 can do it more efficiently. This will be a great thing for mobile devices, websites, etc.

          1. If it’s not adopted, or ready for viewing on my device…it’s not ready.

  8. Oh well, Flash wasn’t that great anyway.

  9. thats horrible wtf adobe??? i use flash always on my phone. Html5 is gonna suck.

  10. Mobile Flash was a joke from the get go, you knew it, everyone knew it, but you decided it was best to stick your head in the sand than to admit that Steve Jobs might have been on to something from the beginning.

    It’s not that Adobe decided Flash is dead that bugs you, it’s your iHating, ignorant ego that refuses to admit that Steve Jobs was right.

    Just goes to show why Flash-fans have no business trying to sell technology to anyone.  

    1. no-one had ever denied that Flash is inefficient, and dying, but note dying and not dead, as I had to say in all the forums whilst we were getting flash, and then when we got flash. I think this article can explain the prevalence of flash on the web and the reasoning behind it much better than I can . Also note that they just say they are not going to extend support to new versions, they are still going to support the current configuration so it’s not like we’re losing flash.

    2. Because that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Loving Flash?

      No, it’s about having the option to use the internet as it was intended – freely without someone else’s opinion getting in the way about *how* you should use it.

      Flash has always been clunky and i’m no great fan of the tech itself but i’m very proud in the way that my chosen OS supported the freedom of choice that we had by them giving us the power to watch flash vids, play flash games *should we want to*.

      As a stopgap until html 5 and the android app/game store filled out over time it’s been great :)

      1. Lol, if you’re going to try trolling on I think you need to try harder than calling me an android nerd ;-)

  11. It says that current (up to 2.3) OS mobile devices will continue to get support. Yet, they will no longer implement Flash on new mobile devices or new mobile OS. 

  12. I used to have a Mytouch 3G Slide and when it was released it had android 2.1 which did not support Adobe Flash however it had something called HTC Flash that did the trick. I am sure that if Adobe left us someone could develop a way around it,

  13. In my Android browser (Xscope Pro) my Flash setting is set to “on demand”, and I rarely if ever “demand” to see Flash content. As a result I don’t have to put up with those Flash ads that at best are a distracting and bandwidth wasting annoyance, and at worst hide the content I’m trying to see.

  14. this doesnt mean our phones would no longer support flash, it just means there will be no more updates to it. even though i dont use it all the time, there are certain sites and instances where i do like to use flash on my phone/tablet. The point is, we have the choice. And that choice to use flash will still be there. theyre not gonna suddenly mass uninstall from everyones devices after this

    1. Sh! Common sense isn’t always welcome! :D

  15. Finally. Die, Flash, Die!

    Finally all those flash programmers have to learn something useful and non-proprietary.

    Silverlight, you are next!

    1. You’re a moron.

      1. Are you a flash developer?

  16. Sad news but I highly doubt flash will be gone forever. Even if they ceased development, Android could go the way of a jailbroken iPhone and port gnash over. Besides, the current flash apk works well enough for most people.

  17. Why Steve, Why!?

  18. i wonder if ics will support flash….

  19. Ah, back in 1999/2000 while I was working at an Austrian Internet Provider (and the fastest connection you could get was ISDN with 128k), I was the lone voice against flash, calling it a “scourge that needs to be purged from the internet”.
    Well, I was young.
    But no, I wouldn’t miss Flash at all. Not on my cell phone and not even on my PC.

  20. Ahem, I must concur with a few others here…Flash isn’t going to stop working on our phones!  It will even be updated with bug and security fixes.  We will still have the option of using it, and it works quite nicely.  I will still be able to access my video server, which has my entire movie collection in Flash format.  I’ll still be able to play Flash content for my tutoring.

    And WHY, may I ask, is Flash so awful?  It’s not buggy, Macs are.  It’s never crashed any device I’ve ever owned, and it’s played an important role in the growth of the internet.  Yes, many internet gurus hail HTML5 as the future.  I remain unconvinced because it looks slower than Flash iterations for video content, but so be it.  FLASH STILL EXISTS TODAY.  And it’ll exist tomorrow, too.  For that reason, I, my computer, and my phone all thank Adobe for making Flash Player.

    1. flash has never crashed your browser once? i call BS

      1. Flash has crashed my PC browser. Then again, so has plenty of other stuff. Software ain’t perfect, and Adobe hardly has a monopoly on bugs (Microsoft tried, but they were taken to court).

        It’s never crashed my mobile browser.. and yeah, I do use it (Android 2.2). 

  21. was Steve jobs right?

  22. i will miss flash. i like to be able to watch videos on my android.

  23. The sooner we get to HTML5 the better. Flash on Android has never been more than a stop-gap solution, and to that end it’s done admirably (and, given Flash won’t be wiped from devices, merely no longer updated, suggests that it will remain a good stop gap for some time). Adobe’s lowered support echos the lowered support of web developers everywhere. 

  24. I uninstalled flash from my OG Droid because I rarely need it on my mobile phone and it was clunky and didn’t run very well and took up much needed space. Now, on my tablet I have it set to on demand and I do use it occasionally. That said, I can live with not having it (I’m not a big video watcher beyond youtube) on my next phone, but as was said previously, it’s not about Steve Jobs winning or how good flash is or isn’t. It’s about Android giving its users the option to use Flash should they want to. So sure, call people iHaters if you like, but you can’t deny that having options is still a wonderful thing.

  25. flash player will still be supported by the air platform.  looks like they are only dropping support for flash in androids browser. (according to rumors, no official word yet). with tablets and phones gaining ever increasing specs, i’m not really convinced dropping browser support is a great idea. but glad air will remain. some of the content i develop in flash would drive me nuts if i had to develop in html, css, js. and no i’ve never created any banners or ads :)

  26. Is Google going to come to the rescue and buy Adobe? Then screw over Apple for forever? Let’s hope so..

  27. This is awesome.  Flash should have died a long time ago.

  28. one of the reason i came to android for flash now i may go back to apple

  29. since mobile devices are becoming the most-used web devices, if they aren’t already, I’m gonna call this an admission of defeat. Web developers have been split into HTML vs Flash camps since the mid-to-late 90s, when (silly) developers started pushing all-flash websites. Adobe “investing” in “HTML5” means that, while it may have taken over 10 years, HTML wins. Hooray!

  30. This is a sad day.
    Android users were the ONLY ones to be able to watch the America’s Cup on their mobile devices thanks to Flash.  While it wasn’t perfect or ideal, it was definitely a feature-adding benefit.

    Pity that its going away.

  31. Maybe I’m the only one confused by this announcement because I thought they had this huge release about Flash 11 with it’s 3D features and how it would change gaming on computers, tablets and phones.  If they are no longer moving forward with Flash, then was that just a late April Fool’s joke?

  32. It says they’re not going to support new configurations; doesn’t say anything about removing existing versions… it even says they’ll continue to support bug fixes for existing configurations.

    If anything, this means iOS will NEVER have Flash, not that it will be removed from Android.

  33. This isn’t a bad thing, its good. Steve Jobs is right that flash is inferior to html5 on mobile devices, but its nice to have flash because so many sites still use it. This is Adobe trying to finally ween web developers off of flash, which means better websites.

  34. I actually like flash on my phone. As long as there is an apk out there ill keep it.

  35. well, that would be a sad day indeed. it means my next tablet will be windows 8 and I’ll be refusung my update to ICS. If I can’t get a full desktop experience on my Xoom, then what’s the point. I may as well sit at the computer.

  36. nope, my DINC never liked flash, it slow and lag. and beside i hardly watch youtube on the browser. 

  37. There goes my porn

  38. Well as long as the Flash we do have isn’t going anywhere I won’t be terribly upset. Furthermore, if I read that right, Google will still have the opportunity to work on further Flash releases if need be. I don’t see this changing much for the end user all in all.  

  39. Not worried about Android, it’s BB who’s crapping their trousers right now.

  40. Adobe has an entirely different perspective on this, of course. The main reason Flash existed was, for Adobe, to sell their authoring tools. They promised rich media, easy web site development, etc. and delivered. But it required something like the Flash plug-in.

    These days, particularly with the next stage of HTML5 hitting browsers, it stands to reason that Adobe’s same tool set could deliver the same kinds of experience on standard browsers. In theory, anyway. If that really works, what’s the value to Adobe in continuing to develop Flash, which would presumably only run on older web sites anyway. Basically, if they’re not adding new features to Flash on the authoring side, there’s no reason to build new versions on the client side. 

    The big “maybe” I see is this: every try to get Java, Javascript, or complex HTML to look the same on every browser. Any chance this happens for HTML5? One reason Flash worked so well — it was always Flash. Same basic thing on every browser. 

    Second thing: Flash still offers the most common DRM around for video playback. This isn’t an issue for pay services like Netflix, which provide their own players (well, in Netflix’s case, they’re using Microsoft Silverlight… a Flash wanna-be). But how about all of those sites with Free TV… they want to offer it free, but don’t want to make it super easy to copy to your PC, since they’re also going to try to sell you a DVD box set next year. At present, HTML5 doesn’t have a mechanism to support protected content. That was one of the big reasons Apple opposed it — they wanted Apple to be the gatekeeper for any money travelling from iOS user outward. 

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