A Final Victory for Apple: Flash Won't Be Supported on Android 4.1 and Above

We've already talked about the death of Flash on this site, and even Adobe's efforts to help people transition with their Flash to HTML5 conversion tool. Adobe said they were going to be releasing one more update for Flash at the end of 2011, but it's clear now after a recent announcement that it's the end of the road for Flash on mobile devices, as it won't be supported any longer when users update to Android 4.1. But what does this really mean?

First, here's a a bit from Adobe's announcement:

Devices that don’t have the Flash Player provided by the manufacturer typically are uncertified, meaning the manufacturer has not completed the certification testing requirements. In many cases users of uncertified devices have been able to download the Flash Player from the Google Play Store, and in most cases it worked. However, with Android 4.1 this is no longer going to be the case, as we have not continued developing and testing Flash Player for this new version of Android and its available browser options.  There will be no certified implementations of Flash Player for Android 4.1.

Here is the timeline for when this is happening:

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.

Adobe not only won't be supporting Flash anymore, but they are also now limiting your ability to download it. If Flash doesn't come preinstalled by the manufacturer, there won't be any way to get it. This is a big deal as Flash reaches the end of its development. If you're a filmmaker interested in doing anything in the mobile space, this is Adobe's way of getting on a megaphone and telling you to quit using Flash. Whether it's a website or an interactive project, it's time to update previous work or not use Flash going forward if you want it to work correctly on mobile devices. Apple started this process thanks to the popularity of the iPhone and iPad and their insistence on not supporting Flash on any of their mobile devices.

This is a step in the right direction for more open platforms, which benefit filmmakers and designers at all budget levels. While you might be able to hold out for a short time thanks to the manufacturers preinstalling Flash, it won't be too long before all new devices will not work with any Flash material. With more and more web surfing heading mobile, it will be interesting to see how quickly HTML5 can get up to speed and replace Flash.

Link: An Update on Flash Player and Android - Adobe Blog

Your Comment


Quite interesting.

On the other hand, Metro style Internet Explorer on Windows 8 has some restricted support for Flash. This will run on tablets. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2012/05/31/windows-release-preview-th...

Still, it does look like the web's transition to HTML5 continues.

July 2, 2012 at 10:42PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


YouTube and Vimeo take care of this for you, but even if you want to stay independent, it's pretty trivial for video people to include multi-platform support. Just make one H.264 file that plays with a Flash player if available, or with native browser playback on iOS/Android/Mac Safari. Despite the push for WebM a little while ago from Google, this is still the best way forward to date, and doesn't involve re-encoding.

Here's one solution of many:


July 3, 2012 at 3:27AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I'm not loving this move. Flash is amazing and its workflow is actually very friendly towards people with low budgets... on any project. HTML 5 simply isn't as good as flash, not to mention its biggest flaw is not supporting vector graphics.

It's sad to see Flash go, I wonder if there will be a proper alternative, because currently there isn't, which makes it bewildering, to me, that it's the end of the line for Flash.

July 3, 2012 at 11:04AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Why are you people so ignorant.
Flash dominanted because it was such a good technology. It was the most prolific web technology ever. It is mostly hated for miss use (Making content that annoys people as it works in terms of Ads. Or Apples poor API's making it so slow and CPU hungry. (Works fine on a PC, code is code..))
The development environement and tools where so good that any idiot could make really BAD content that performed poorly... But worked well..
But just like any tool. In the hands of an expert, it flies.
Its like how Flash is still preferred on youtube as.. HTML5 video simply does not compete on the more complex video player tasks.

Flash is still very much alive. HTML5 use in games is still a LONG way behind flash. HTML5 will take time to catch up (And copy the implementations of flash and call it a standard) but that is just the way it goes.

Why is there so much negativeness about flash.

The flash development platform still lives on as a cross compiler to iOS and Android and has been used in many games in the top 10 app charts.

HTML5 and cross platform tools are well known to take 5-10 times the development effort, and as such you need to make more from them and take a bigger chance. Sure HTML5 is getting closer to being able to do the job, but at a BIG price.

The right tool for the right job. Fast and cheap. Not HTML5, not native.. We had flash but it has been trash talked so there are hundreads of new tools. PhoneGap, Corona etc. Fragmented to hell. (Just what Google/Apple/M$ want. They don;t want a unified cross platform toolset. They want proprietary languages that lock the developers in)

I simply wish those who seem to enjoy the demise of flash can really see how they look from a more informed person. Mindless lemming comes to mind.

Shame about flash. It should have died a graceful slow death as standards did eventually over take it over many years. Not the blatant assassination based on self interest by large corporations.


July 4, 2012 at 7:10AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Great. That means we'll have to make yet one more concession to accommodate Apple's shortcomings (after native HDV footage that FCP users can't read).

July 5, 2012 at 3:37PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Jacques E. Bouchard


July 9, 2012 at 8:55PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Ok flash may be a "less modern technology" but then sites will use it less and less anyways, why shut it off entirely?

"if" I understand correctly, streaming flash content is associated with pirates, easier to pirate content ect.., and they can't cash in on people streaming movies on pirate distributors like novamov, sharesix, sockshare and the like... all using flash.

so their solution is to remove flash from mobile devices creating a kind of more "controlled" internet for modern tablet users who don't even know they don't need to pay to get the content they want. But isn't the strategy a little unfair to smaller groups who make money off adds, sure they're pirates but google have demonstrated pirate behaviour when they scanned hunreds of thousands of books without asking any permission, they didn't get million dollar fines like movie-2K or megavideo.

I guess google is becomming too big and has conflicts of interest causing it to act like all other giants.

December 10, 2013 at 7:26AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM