Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's dead, JIm: no Flash on Jelly Bean; no new installs from Play Store after Aug. 15

Adobe announced a halt to mobile Flash development last fall, although it didn't specify when that would be (although we suspected). Well, now we know for sure: Jelly Bean, or Android 4.1 will not ever receive certification for Flash.

In addition, also said it would be halting NEW installations of Flash from Google Play as of August 15th. The company said:

"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."

Security updates and other critical patches will continue for existing users. It sounds like those who have installed Flash on a device, then later hard reset will be able to re-install the app. While there is no exact wording to that effect, it sounds like it from the text above speaking about incompatibilities. That sounds a lot like they are concerned mostly with newly released devices.

Apple never embraced Flash on iOS, saying it was buggy and used too many system resources. Flash bugginess and performance issues could be seen on Android and BlackBerry, which saw the largest adoption among mobile devices.

However, that can be seen on desktop platforms as well. How often have you seen your Flash player in Chrome crash? More often than you would like, correct?

When it dumped Flash (more or less) in 2011, Adobe said it would begin fostering the adoption of HTML5. It's certainly done that, and it's also pushing for the packaging of native apps through the Adobe AIR platform. That said, you'll still see new tablets come with Flash this fall.

Internet Explorer in Windows 8 - and according to sources, Windows RT as well - will include an integrated version of the Flash player. Since there will be tablets with both of those platforms coming, we'll see Flash continue on mobile, at least for now.

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