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Adobe Stops Flash Player Support For Android 332

Posted by Soulskill
from the writing-on-the-wall dept.
New submitter Craefter writes "Adobe has finally seen the same light Steve Jobs did in 2010 and is now committed to putting mobile Flash player in the history books as soon as possible. Adobe will not develop and test Flash player for Android 4.1 and will now focus on a PC browsing and apps. In a blog post, they wrote, '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. 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.'"
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Adobe Stops Flash Player Support For Android

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  • by Tufriast (824996) * on Friday June 29, 2012 @08:47AM (#40492519)
    I don't think anyone is gonna sit down here with this plate of crow and some ketchup. But, can anyone deny Jobs's statement was inaccurate now? http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/ [apple.com] Just sayin.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by h4rr4r (612664)

      Was anyone denying it then?

      Jobs was no sage, Flash was known to be utter garbage for many years before he spouted off on the topic.

      He did not say those things because he meant them, they were said because if iOS ran flash then applications could have been used on it that were not vetted by Apple.

      • by MisterSquid (231834) on Friday June 29, 2012 @11:05AM (#40494193)

        He did not say those things because he meant them, they were said because if iOS ran flash then applications could have been used on it that were not vetted by Apple.

        You say that as if that's a bad thing. Maybe it is for third parties, but from Apple's point of view and from the point of view of their users, prohibiting third parties from controlling the development ecosystem of a platform is the only thing that makes sense. Read what Jobs called the "most important reason" for disallowing Flash on iOS:

        Sixth, the most important reason. [For not allowing Flash on iOS.]

        Besides the fact that Flash is closed and proprietary, has major technical drawbacks, and doesn’t support touch based devices, there is an even more important reason we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. We have discussed the downsides of using Flash to play video and interactive content from websites, but Adobe also wants developers to adopt Flash to create apps that run on our mobile devices.

        We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.

        This becomes even worse if the third party is supplying a cross platform development tool. The third party may not adopt enhancements from one platform unless they are available on all of their supported platforms. Hence developers only have access to the lowest common denominator set of features. Again, we cannot accept an outcome where developers are blocked from using our innovations and enhancements because they are not available on our competitor’s platforms.

        Also, to address your "fear is this will mean online video sites will start making their own apps that do not work on my linux desktops" I first want to ask why should iOS users and Apple care about Adobe's proprietary solution for your linux desktop. The only proper answer, of course, is *crickets*. The improper answer is that linux and everyone else in the world would be better off if video were (back-)implemented as an open standard which is where HTML5 comes in.

        HTML5 will fix this problem of one company single-handedly controlling the future of web-delivered video. The problem was the fault of the big players who tried to corner the video codec market (Silverlight, Quicktime) with their own stupid plugins and losing to a respectable competitor, in this case Adobe.

        Now that the battle has been lost Apple (and everyone else) understand that controlling the widget isn't as important as interoperability and you, as a linux user, should understand that fairly well.

        Flash is going to die and everyone except for maybe a few Flash software engineers (and that temporarily) are going to be better off as a result.

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        Yeah! Flash was the worst, except for every other alternative out there.
    • by chrb (1083577) on Friday June 29, 2012 @09:07AM (#40492739)

      But, can anyone deny Jobs's statement was inaccurate now?

      I do not think that means [wikipedia.org] what you think it means.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Jobs wasn't right, but his statement was self-fulfilling. Adobe abandoned the mobile Flash Player BECAUSE Apple would never allow it on iOS, and iOS owned too much of the market for Flash to have a chance on mobile without it.

      It had nothing to do with Flash being unable to work well on mobile. The benchmarks show conclusively that Flash performs better on Android than HTML5+JS. Further proof of this is that Flash continues to work well and be supported for app development on both iOS and Android. And by "wo

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by PortHaven (242123)

      YES Jobs statement was inaccurate. But his war on Flash was successful.

      I just wished that instead of wasting time trying to kill Flash he had simply fixed the piece of frakking divinely condemned fecal matter that is iTunes. (Sorry for the profanity, but I have NEVER EVER in my life dealt with a worse piece of software.

      • I just wished that instead of wasting time trying to kill Flash
        In what way did Apple "waste time"? Instead, they saved a HUGE amount of time by not having to try and optimize Flash to the point it would work well on a limited chipset, but not having to worry about browser integration.

        Apple didn't try to kill flash so much as they said "we see no place for it on mobile" and then proceed to spend resources on other things. So instead of wasting time, you have to ask just what else would have been not quite

      • Oh but they ARE fixing iTunes.

        Haven't you heard? They're adding facebook integration and making iTunes lean toward getting people to use the iCloud.
        http://dvice.com/archives/2012/06/itunes-will-get.php [dvice.com]

        And, in case you missed the memo, iCloud is that platform that desktop apps can only access if they are sold from the Mac App Store.
        http://www.macstories.net/stories/the-state-of-icloud-enabled-apps/ [macstories.net]

        Of course, it's all for the benefit of the end-user.

        Same thing with killing off Flash. It's not that they thou

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Yep, you replaced a program that the owner didn't mind if you made a FOSS version with one controlled by patent trolls and which is in bed with MSFT and Apple, two companies with a LONG history of locking down and not playing nice...congrats.

      Mark my words FOSS lovers, you are gonna look back one day soon and go "WTF was we thinking?" because MPEG-LA will end up royally fucking you over. H.265 is coming and guess what? To replace platforms like Flash and Silverlight its gonna be a DRM delight and YOU won't b

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrDoh! (71235) on Friday June 29, 2012 @08:47AM (#40492525) Homepage Journal

    It's filled a gap, but with better apps, chrome being integrated now, time to let it retire gracefully.
    Sure there'll be a way to sideload it just in case it is needed for something in particular.

    That's the thing, when Jobs said it should die, many agreed, but to not (at the time) offer an alternative, wasn't the best way to handle it. The web moves on, html5 (and the browsers) are more common, standards are just about standardised.

    Bye flash. Take a chair next to the blink tag over there.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by oh_my_080980980 (773867) on Friday June 29, 2012 @09:02AM (#40492677)
      HTML 5 was offered as a solution.
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        One that is still not yet fully replacing what flash did.

        How will amazon do video now? I doubt it will be HTML5, and even more likely it will not work unless you are running Windows or OSX.

    • by guises (2423402)
      I'll be glad to see flash go as well, but don't you think this is a little premature? Flash is still almost ubiquitous for web-based video and games, and that's not a small market. Adobe could, I'm sure, easily maintain profitability for another 3-4 years as Flash slowly declines, instead of just killing it as they seem to be doing. There's no more Linux client either, if you recall.

      Flash is extremely annoying when you don't want it, but it's pretty nice to have around when you go to seek it out. Flash ga
    • That's the thing, when Jobs said it should die, many agreed, but to not (at the time) offer an alternative, wasn't the best way to handle it.

      Yes it was. It was absolutely the best way to handle it. Offering an alternative would have just dragged things out and offered a subpar product. Say whatever you want about Jobs but he was not afraid to cut the cord if he felt that a technology had run its course and when he's done so, it's made a drastic shift happen quickly. Flash (on mobile devices) is but one example of that and I, for one, am glad for it. Flash sucks. Despite what some people will say, Flash sucks. Hardcore. It dying out faster rather

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        Wrong. The lack of Flash made the iPhone a subpar product. A device that fails to run the software I want to run is a subpar product when compared to a device that does run the software.
    • by fermion (181285)
      For the phone, the main reason flash had to go was the ads. You load a webpage with several flash ads, and the battery and performance is going to be drained. There is no reason to have flash on a phone, if you can guarantee that the flash is not going to autorun. Really only the lack of autoplay was the only thing that was needed to keep performance up. However, that would break the model that has kept flash in the forefront, the only advertisement delivery system that is not under use control by defau
  • And... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by piripiri (1476949) on Friday June 29, 2012 @08:47AM (#40492527) Journal
    Nothing of value was lost.
  • In summary (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 29, 2012 @08:50AM (#40492559)

    In summary, "We have too many customers, too much market share, and wholly believe that's a bad thing, especially in light of the looming competition from open standards such as HTML5."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 29, 2012 @08:52AM (#40492587)

    Being able to browse the web in full and view flash contents is on of the best features of android phones. Flash has been a useful technology and I don't understand why it's being viewed as a good thing that it's going away. I understand open standards being used opposed to proprietary technology, but this seems more important for developers than end users. I honestly don't care how I get the content as long as I can, but why not continue to develop the technology that sets the phone apart?

    • by Dog-Cow (21281)

      Maybe because Adobe has no vested interest in whether you buy an Android or iOS phone?

    • why not continue to develop the technology that sets the phone apart?

      This is an easy one to answer: because it isn't profitable and it's pretty clear that it will be even less so in the future.

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Friday June 29, 2012 @08:54AM (#40492603)
    If Adobe had given it a stable interface it could have Bern a real and useful standard. Instead, Adobe never setlled its interface which made it unmanageable to support across a variety of devices.
  • and... (Score:2, Insightful)

    zero fucks were given
    • And so my children when Adobe announced that the light had gone out, that it would not flash anymore... Not a single fuck was given that day, nor forevermore.
  • aww darn (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Friday June 29, 2012 @09:05AM (#40492713)
    Awwww man, without flash player, how are people going to rig mobile websites to load viruses onto my phone? It was an even bigger plugin security hole than its PC counterpart.
  • Industry failure (Score:4, Insightful)

    by skaag (206358) on Friday June 29, 2012 @09:08AM (#40492751) Homepage Journal

    It seems people are too harsh on Flash, for no reason really.

    Personally I see it as a failure of the tech world to understand why some people were stubbornly holding on to Flash.

    Flash was a very easy way for product designers to develop some pretty advanced client side technologies, with a plugin that had more than 90% adoption rates. iOS changed that, much to adobe's chagrin.

    But like some commenters said, this technology is now being killed without proper replacements. You still can't do socket communications directly from within a browser without using plugins. Definitely not with UDP. This was one of the reasons Flash was awesome. It filled the gap of all those features missing in a browser (or available only in some and not in others).

    And let's not even start with the authoring tool - I have yet to see a tool that was as friendly and intuitive as Adobe's for producing Flash apps.

    • It's not dead yet (Score:4, Informative)

      by Clueless Nick (883532) on Friday June 29, 2012 @09:25AM (#40492901) Journal

      They have only killed it for Linux and Android, and it never existed for iOS. You can still target Windows and OSX users with it, do not despair.

    • I agree. And for web game developers, Flash is still the best tech out there. HTML5 is okay, but still not terribly mature (and don't get me started on sound) or consistently implemented. Meanwhile on the Flash platform you have at least two mature, useful frameworks--FlashPunk and Flixel--that allow for quick prototyping and rich development.

      Not to mention AS3 is prettier and friendlier than Javascript...

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Setting the bar higher for authoring tools is a good thing. It will hopefully prevent another generation of animated, shiny and near devoid of text websites. Nothing like trying to find a restaurant menu when the website has clearly been done by the owners kid with a pirated copy of the Adobe suite.

    • Flash was never suitable for phones because it is a major battery hog. Fixing the problem would mean shifting development from low-bid contractors to people who actually know what they are doing and that's very expensive. Adobe needs to earn money for their shareholders, so they really have no other choice.

      IOW, the problem wasn't in the tech world, it was in the business world. Adobe made development decisions on how they would affect next quarter and the result was a product with no long-term future.

    • by ClaraBow (212734)
      They are just killing the mobile version not the desktop! Google Chrome has it built into the browser, so it will be around for quite some time! The mobile version never worked outside of using it to watch videos. It was very inconsistant from device to device, not to mention that it drained my battery and turned my tablet into a hot plate!
  • I wonder how much Apple had to pay them for this?

    Seriously, if you think they are surrendering one of the crown jewels for free, you would be hopelessly naive.

  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Friday June 29, 2012 @09:23AM (#40492885)
    A bony skeletal hand reaches out from a grave and chokes the life out of Flash.
    • by MobyDisk (75490)

      As a Mac user, I read "An entirely white, lightweight, minimalist designed hand with no unnecessary bloat or user replaceable battery reaches out from a grave and chokes the life out of Flash."

  • One wonders why they're bothering to support it on Windows; if they're dropping support for more devices — first all the non-Chrome Linux systems, now all Android devices? Is this some sort of attack on Linux?

    But since Flash is becoming less cross-platform I'm imagining that developers will leave in droves, and that at least some of them will be smart enough to avoid Adobe for their next solution...

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      on windows it's making them directly money on their report spreadsheets, due to flash development tools being on windows(and there's huge use and demand still there, from flash games to stupid adverts to streaming shit).

      however, they have awful time metering the income that comes from supporting the mobile platforms, they always had. they never found anyone to pay them a bill specifically just for supporting the mobile platforms(manufacturers weren't going to go for paying for it without there already being

      • by JDG1980 (2438906)

        on windows it's making them directly money on their report spreadsheets, due to flash development tools being on windows(and there's huge use and demand still there, from flash games to stupid adverts to streaming shit). however, they have awful time metering the income that comes from supporting the mobile platforms, they always had. they never found anyone to pay them a bill specifically just for supporting the mobile platforms(manufacturers weren't going to go for paying for it without there already be

    • by Spad (470073) <slashdot.spad@co@uk> on Friday June 29, 2012 @09:40AM (#40493105) Homepage

      At a guess, they've drafted all the former Linux & Android Flash devs to work full time on trying to patch the Windows version roughly as fast as new vulnerabilities are being discovered.

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Friday June 29, 2012 @09:41AM (#40493113)

    The headline isn't entirely accurate. Adobe is only supporting flash on Android devices in which it is currently installed. In August, if you don't have flash installed, you ain't gettin' it. They've also come up with a list of "certified" Android hardware whatever in the hell that's actually supposed to accomplish.

    Now then, notice that Adobe continues to support and develop Flash for the Windows platform. This is the largest marketshare of desktops out there. If Adobe "saw the light" , and conceeded to some Apple fanboi fantasy land, they would most certainly be dropping all Flash support across the board and declare it "not a profitable direction for the company" or some other such reason.

    The fact that Adobe has Nixed the Linux version of Flash for FireFox, and now raising issue with Android, leads me to wonder why they are focused on crippling the two most open and alternative systems out there.

  • Thousands and thousands of games. All playable on Linux. And this is going away :(
    What a shame.

    Many of these games are crap, but there are some really good ones out there.

    The ability to have a single file contain a complete game with audio, graphics, and so, and have that work on all current OSes, which people could play simply by giving them the link to it, no install needed, or download locally and play offline there, was pretty awesome. Those times will be no more :(

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Chrome will continue to support flash on linux.

      • by Chrisq (894406)

        Chrome will continue to support flash on linux.

        mod parent up! This is bound to increase the adoption of chrome

  • Spad said this in a comment above, but they also are killing Flash on desktop LInux ! It seems like that should be mentioned, as this is slashdot, maybe the site with most linux users in the world (was there a previous article,maybe?)

    From the roadmap linked from the article;

    Linux: Adobe has been working closely with Google to develop a single, modern API for hosting plug-ins within the browser. [...] Adobe has been able to partner with Google in providing a "Pepper" [ http://code.google.com/p/ppapi/ [google.com] ] implementation of Flash Player for all x86/64 platforms supported by the Google Chrome browser [...]For Flash Player releases after 11.2, the Flash Player browser plug-in for Linux will only be available via the "Pepper" API as part of the Google Chrome browser distribution and will no longer be available as a direct download from Adobe. Adobe will continue to provide security updates to non-Pepper distributions of Flash Player 11.2 on Linux for five years from its release.

    It's a good thing that Flash use is declining...

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