August 15, 2012

Adobe Dumps Flash, Pulls It From Google Play Store

Michael Harper for - Your Universe Online

Seems like only yesterday the entire tech world was split when it came to the notion of Flash on mobile devices. Apple, of course, famously refused to allow Flash on their mobile devices, a move which caused an angry Android fan searching for a cause to be martyred with. Steve Jobs offered his oft-cited “Thoughts on Flash,” later, saying, “Flash was created during the PC era — for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards — all areas where Flash falls short.”

Of course, those who ran to Android because of their willingness to run Flash likely found there wasn´t much they could do which required Flash, as much of the Internet took a turn towards HTML5. Nonetheless, Adobe promised they´d one day finally bring an acceptable version of mobile Flash to the market. That´d show Steve!

Adobe finally scrapped their plans to develop Flash for Mobile, and now, they´ve announced they´ll be pulling their Flash app from Google´s Play app store.

“HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively,” writes Danny Winkour, Adobe´s vice president and general manager of interactive development in a 2011 note.

“This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.”

Now, in a new note, Adobe has said they´ll be pulling the app from the store, starting today, August 15th.

“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, “ writes Adobe in their blog.

“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.”

Therefore, any die-hard Flash On Android fan with a point to prove will need to keep their device running 4.0 or lower.

As a part of an earlier Adobe announcement, Flash did not ship with Android 4.1, or more affectionately titled “Jelly Bean,” meaning any new Android device will now be just like Apple devices: Unable to run Flash.

Adobe has said they´ll still allow developers to package Flash content in Adobe AIR apps, but support for Flash on mobile devices is being pulled for good.

In addition to focusing on Flash for PC, Adobe has said they´ll be working on gaming, more HML5 developments and premium video content. It´s never appropriate or kind to say things like “I told you so,” but this announcement is just further proof that Steve Jobs was completely correct in his assessment on Flash on mobile devices more than 2 years ago. As Adobe tried to prove him wrong, they were quickly shown just how difficult it would have been to develop Flash on mobile devices, be it due to a shortage of cash or an inherent flaw within the Flash technology. Either way, all devices, even Android, should now be able to take advantage of longer battery life and more stable web browsers with Adobe Flash now almost entirely extinguished.