After perhaps halfheartedly staying in the fight to keep things going in the emergence of HTML5 and whispers from around the industry that there was no place for the platform on a mobile device, Adobe decided to stop development on the Android version of Flash Player. The announcement came last November, a little over a year after Adobe began a significant push to get a stable and compact version of Flash onto devices running Google’s OS. While the app necessary to run Flash on an Android handset has received several minor updates since the decision to pull back resources, the standard has been all but dead since.
Nevertheless, users have been able to install the app still and experience Flash content on their phones and tablets provided the browser also supports the platform. With Google’s issuing of a Chrome for Android that lacks Flash support, the signal from the OS side of things was clear. Now Adobe will end any future installs of the mobile version of Flash starting tomorrow. That’s right, for real this time. If you don’t have it on your device already, soon you won’t be able to get it at all. Not even a legacy version.
Back when Apple was openly bashing Adobe’s desires to continue to push Flash despite a shift towards HTML5, we would have defended the company. There is plenty of Flash content on the web, after all, and there is still plenty today. But with more and more mobile-catered sites and a dramatic pickup in HTML5’s presence on the web, it’s hard to make the argument for a mobile version of Flash today. Adobe is doing the right thing by shifting their focus toward better tools for developing and viewing rich HTML5 content, and finally letting Flash die will all but force those still relying on the standard to rethink their approaches as well.