Life & Technology

Why Is Adobe Flash Player No Longer Supported on Android?


Android loved Flash. Flash broke Android’s – and the mobile community’s – heart.

That is the shortest summary for the short-lived Flash-Android love affair.

The root of it all can be traced back to Apple. Steve Jobs, in particular was vocal about his dislike for Flash Player, vowing that it would never be seen on an iOS device.

In Jobs’ defense, there were already a lot of things about Flash that didn’t jive with his vision for Apple’s devices. It was a proprietary system most suited for desktop use, not the touch gestures he envisioned for mobile devices. Put simply, Flash was not built for the future.

But Android was different. It was a platform that openly embraced Flash. After all, there was an audience who wanted to play those silly videos on a portable device. Supporting Flash also meant those Flash-based games worked fined on Android devices.

Sadly, the love affair wasn’t meant to last. In 2012, Adobe announced that it would no longer be supporting Flash on mobile devices despite promising it would enable the “full web experience on mobile.”

Instead, Flash bent the knee to HTML5, that new open-source technology that everyone else was starting to love. To be fair, HTML5 seems to do things better than Flash ever could and still continues to do so.

So Android did what it had to do: end Flash support on their devices beginning with Jelly Bean (Android 4.1).

However, there was still that audience wishing for things to go back to the way they were before. And their wishes were heard and granted.

Devices older than Android 4.1 can still install Flash Player, but newer devices had to resort to using browsers that supported Flash. But all that is about to end come 2020 when Adobe will finally put to death their once much-loved product.