Adobe Flash Officially Gone From Google Play Store
Starting Aug. 15, mobile Android 4.0 users will no longer be able to download Adobe's Flash Player from Google's Play Store, as Adobe continues its efforts to wind down the existing Flash app for mobile devices.
Android users who already have the Flash Player installed will still be able to use it for now and will still be able to receive updates, according to Adobe.
The Aug. 15 deadline for new Flash downloads had been set by Adobe back in June, seven months after Adobe unveiled its initial plans to drop its mobile Flash Player development. That step was taken to allow Adobe to prepare the path for Flash's mobile successorâthe use of Adobe AIR, which Flash developers will be able to package into native mobile apps that will be offered in all the major app stores.
The existing mobile Flash Player became a moot app for Android with the release of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is not and will not be certified for use with Flash, according to Adobe.
"The Flash Player browser plug-in integrates tightly with a device's browser and multimedia subsystems (in ways that typical apps do not), and this necessitates integration by our device ecosystem partners," according to a June 28 Adobe blog post. "To ensure that the Flash Player provides the best possible experience for users, our partner program requires certification of each Flash Player implementation. Certification includes extensive testing to ensure Web content works as expected, and that the Flash Player provides a good user experience."
The key to the transition away from Flash, according to Adobe, has been the adoption of HTML5 standards by most major mobile device operating systems.
"This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms," said Adobe's blog post. "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."
By dropping its mobile Flash efforts, the company said it will now be able to invest more in future HTML5-based technologies for users.
The move away from Flash for mobile users was a capitulation by Adobe that essentially began when Apple released its first iPhones in 2007. Apple chose not to allow the use of Flash on its devices, instead choosing HTML5-based capabilities, which Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who passed away last year, declared preferable because of its open standards.
Apple and Adobe were locked in a battle over Flash, and Apple's growing mobile market share and dedicated fan base meant that the writing was on the wall for Adobe from the start of the Flash war.
Flash wasn't going to emerge victorious but would eventually have to succumb to the power of the HTML5 push in the mobile sector.
Meanwhile, the Flash Player for PCs will continue to be offered by Adobe, and its development is not affected by the move to drop the mobile version.
Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS became available preloaded on new mobile devices in July.
Android 4.1 is being touted for a slew of improvements aimed at ease-of-use and new features. Among the lauded new features are better and faster app updates on devices, faster speed, improved Android Beam Bluetooth capabilities, resizable app widgets, better notifications, improved search with Google Now and offline voice dictation.