Adobe Flash Player, the software used for viewing Rich Internet Applications and streaming audio and video, will not be supported on the next iterations of Google's mobile operating system, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
On August 15, Adobe Flash player will be removed from the Google Play app store.
"We announced last November that we are focusing our work with Flash on PC browsing and mobile apps packaged with Adobe AIR, and will be discontinuing our development of the Flash Player for mobile browsers. This post provides an update on what this means for ongoing access to the Flash Player browser plugin for Android in the Google Play Store," said Adobe in a blog post.
"The Flash Player browser plugin 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. 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. Certified devices typically include the Flash Player pre-loaded at the factory or as part of a system update," it added.
ZDNet reports that just because Adobe says Flash Player doesn't work on Android 4.1 and that the company won't support the player on the next iteration of Android doesn't mean that Flash Player won't actually work on new devices. The blog says that users are already successfully running flash on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean-powered devices, and that power users expect to sideload the player for a while. The blog notes, though, that eventually, Adobe Flash Player will "break" on Android 4.1.
The move to discontinue Adobe Flash Player on Android OS is a peculiar one. Adobe appears to be placing a tremendous amount of emphasis on Windows and Mac computers rather than on mobile device. There's currently no Adobe Flash Player for Apple iOS systems and Adobe has not publicly announced any plans to bring Flash Player to Windows Phone 8. As mobile device adoption continues to skyrocket, it's makes little sense as to why Adobe would not focus its efforts on the operating systems that are being adopted most rapidly. Whether or not the decision pans out well for Adobe remains to be seen.
Adobe contends that it's still committed to video on mobile devices in a recent blog post. "We continue to innovate and solve mobile video fragmentation challenges. Specifically, on Android, we solve this with Adobe AIR, with high-end video features such as Adobe Access DRM, and frequent new releases with new video features. In addition, we introduced "Project Primetime", focusing on solving video fragmentation and monetization challenges across desktop, mobile and digital home," the company says." We made the decision to discontinue support for Android mobile browser because of two reasons: 1) Premium experiences on mobile devices are typically being delivered through apps and 2) Mobile websites mostly rely on HTML5 based video delivery."