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Adobe Stops Development of Flash for Mobile Browsers, And It’s Official

Just what you wanted, bad news to start your Wednesday, right? It’s official, my friends. Last night, rumors swirled about, claiming that Adobe was going to ax Flash for mobile browsers and within the last hour, they made that official. Their goal is to continue to push out security fixes for the current build that is available, but will no longer develop Flash to work with new device configurations. Pretty disappointing news. So, it’s not going away for good, it just won’t be developed further.

Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores.  We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.  We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations.  We will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations.

Personally, I like having the full web experience (in an on-demand state of course). I like watching embedded video and not having to launch a separate video player. Overall, I actually like Flash. While I’ll admit that Flash has performance issues that are evident on just about any platform, I still don’t want to see it go from mobile devices.

I’m sort of at a loss for words here – just tell me your thoughts? Will this affect you at all? Were you a big Flash user on your mobile device?

Via:  Adobe

Cheers to everyone who spotted this last night!

  • tb123a

    not to sound like a creep, but i use my adroid phone for porn, just so anyone who uses my computer (everyone in my house uses it) isnt gonna open the browser to a dirty video or something, so its a more minor inconvenience, but still a real pisser. i do know people however that use their android tablets to use college course/work related related flash based internet programs and this is gonna cause a real problem for them.

  • Surfer__garry

    What, Really? thanks Adobe- now Flash and Media Player don’t work on my android…

  • MG

    Mr. Jobs saw it coming. To many hands in the cookie jar and not enough bakers. In short flash does what we want but now always when we want it. Integration is key to  success if you want to be the only one to turn to.
    This will cause the designers to build as one instead as build and pass the buck. 

  • Clona

    Dumb down. That’s what I have to do to create what I can do in Flash in html5 instead. And just because people build buggy, poorly designed, overly complicated Flash presentations that crash systems, doesn’t mean that it has to be that way. I design full screen, audio narrated, mouse/keyboard/touch navigable presentations for the aging and disabled that work. Now these people are essentially being discriminated against in the mobile space.

    Apparently it doesn’t matter anyway. Most of the web is oriented to data pollution and not rich experiences.

  • Anonymous

    Outside of pushing Adobe Air, I suspect Adobe wants developers to purchase and use Flash Server, which now processes Flash code server side and pushes the output through an HTML5 container.  Ditching mobile Flash might not be a bad strategy to increase some revenue.  But that’s a very big “might.”

  • Me

    Flash sucked on mobile devices anyways….and Jobs was right!!!

  • MeatLover

    Well, seems like this was always a major PRO when it came to Android versus Apple… I will say, it does take Android down a notch or two in my mind.  I’ve always seen Android as the platform that can do anything, so if being able to play flash content on the web is not an option anymore, it just starts to bring Android down to Apple’s level…

  • Rizzidy

    This is upsetting news, but I wonder what they mean by “mobile” Flash.  Are tablet OSes included?  If not, then this actually isn’t that big of a deal as all Android devices move to ICS.

  • hatethanet

    Since my Tbolt never gets OS updates anyway, I should be fine, lol.

  • Trayjake2

    My Gnex will never get to see an update to flash 12.

  • Gimikey

    this is horrible… horrible news.

    • Gimikey

      why even own a smartphone now if I cant watch porn on it…     adobe, you just lost the game.

  • Anonymous

    SMFH…the same fandroids who always said “but can you run flash?” are now finding reasons to bash it…just face it people…steve jobs obviously knew a helluva lot more about this business than any of us..he knew about all the problems that plagued flash and thats why he chose not to support it…HTML5 runs just fine anyway

    • Anonymous

      Exactly. Flash was the best thing since sliced bread & the iPhone sucked because it couldn’t run it as of a few days ago. Now Steve was proven right and Adobe abandons it and more than half of the comments are taking the “Ah welp, flash was shitty anyway. Bring on html5” route? You Fandroids make me sick

      • Anonymous

        you’re an isheep posting on a blog called droid life… u worried bro?

        • Anonymous

          Nah, I admire android. I think it’s a solid OS. I’m a fan of good tech

  • Anonymous

    : Google.. can you please pick them up too (purchase)? Sheesh. Do we have to leave all the hard work to Big G? lol

  • Anonymous

    What does this mean for ICS? Was the dev already done for ICS?

  • Sprotthedestroyer

    have an ogd. i loved flash, worked amazingly well on my og droid. no messups or force closing(funny how my outdated phone ran flash better than most newer phones). i never browse online on my droid. i have my comp for that. i am sad to see them no longer developing for it though. it was an awesome idea when it came out..  I will say, this is a great day for developers that want to duplicate flashplayer with their own packaging!

  • I am so surprised to hear this announcement from Adobe. We all know the benefits of HTML5, yeah, yeah… The fact is, the majority of embedded web video, site reviews, blogs, etc. still use Flash, and if you want to view them on your mobile device, we need mobile flash.

    I view sites with flash regularly on my Droid Incredible with Froyo and Asus Transformer with Honeycomb 3.2 and have had a great experience.

    I understand it will be a slow progression, and Flash mobile isn’t disappearing. It is disheartening though. I hate to think the Transformer 3 could come out with no flash, unable to view the still 1/3 of web video that still use flash.

    • Not so sure about the “majority” of these sites using Flash.  YouTube and Vimeo have HTML5 players that work beautifully, and they’re what most use to embed clips.  Even semi-proprietary web viewers like those from some tech sites usually have HTML5 support.

      The sites that stand out with problems, right now, are restaurants, photographer portfolio sites, and others that got lazy on their web design.  I use both Android and iOS, and there’s very little that iOS can’t do in HTML5 (Android too, for that matter) that could be done in Flash.

  • Jack Hoffman

    Soooooo…DROID doesn’t?

  • can’t say i’m heartbroken… I remember when flash came out for my OG, made web browsing incredibly shitty…  It’s probably for the best…

  • Keith

    the only time I need it is for ESPN radio.  Their app is garbage and tune in radio lost it’s cbs radio acess so I was resorting to the actual website running flash.

    If anyone has another way please let me know.

    • Vonny571

      Look for a shoutcast stream of a local espn station and play it in Winamp mobile or any other shoutcast player.

  • Dan

    My iPhone buddies are going to tear me a new one 

    • Anonymous

      why? we still have flash forever

      • Dan

        With newer devices and chipsets, I don’t see the older versions being compatible. 

  • Anonymous

    Google and Adobe teamed up to bring Flash to devices because that was one of Android’s biggest differentiation against the iPhone. It was first and foremost, a marketing ploy.

    Secondly, they wanted to take the App Store ecosystem down. Google’s biggest fear are native apps: when people start living on apps and stop using the browser. Evidently, that did not happen. The browser is the most used feature of a smartphone next to app usage. Even iPhone users’ browsing habits are growing year after year. Not even to mention that Android now has the market share, and those handsets come equipped with Google’s own browser. 

    Finally, the Android Market is maturing and growing faster than ever. Developers are jumping into the notion of developing for a plethora of devices. If the battleground be in the app ecosystem, Google and its Market will give the Apple a run for its money. Adobe and Google decided to throw the towel because they perceive no threat anymore from Apple’s App ecosystem.  

  • Flash is one of my main reasons that I love the Android platform. Seems to be poor form on Adobe’s part.

  • 1st for all those complaining about it being worthless or a battery hog etc./ at least you have the option to use it. i guess we should remove all video players since watching videos is a battery hog also. and get rid of facebook i dont use so i dont care about those that do.(thats how you guys sound) you dont have to use it but its a nice option to have.
    But i am not so sure this is apple thing.  im leaning toward a google thing.
    what better way to get people to switch to chrome on android than to have it be the best implementation of flash.

  • Rich

    Well smartphones are going to shit…. they come out to fast so your new phone is old… They come out so fast they aren’t what the spec or advertise for… its bad enough you have to use Wifi for youtube to even load a video (POS)… Now we won’t have flash for the newer devices… WTF is going on…
    Its also bad enough you have stupid ads popping up in your face on all apps that take up 1/3 of the screen that is already to small…

    All-in-all phones are shit as much as the carriers and manufacturers…

  • I hope this is just because we will be seeing full web browsers on mobile devices in the near future. I want a computer like browsing experience on my tab and i won’t buy another if i can’t have it.

  • Mark

    Well Ive used html5 on a video website and it is rubbish. All that happens is that i download the video when all i want to do is play it so i end up with lots of news reports downloaded when i wanted to stream them. maybe its the particular website but please, show me a decent html5 coded video site please…

    • YouTube. Vimeo. CNN.  At least on iOS, they stream properly, and I’ve seen HTML5 video stream on Android, too.

  • Guest

    I hope this means sites will more likely switch to alternative video platforms.

    • Schmo

      I hope so too. Though there aren’t many alternatives out there. Also, yes, HTML5 is not an alternative. It’s a completely different thing.

      • Anonymous

        It’s still superior.

        • Clona

          No it isn’t. To create for html5 I have to dumb down all the things I can do with Flash.

          • Anonymous

            I have yet to see a single compelling feature that justified Flash’s poor performance, battery hogging, space hogging, etc. Most people only care about using Flash for video, and html5 or direct .mp4 links just work much better for that. Flash games are pointless on mobile, and never work as well as actual apps.

          • Anonymous

            Even if it was slow, I would rather have the option to see it rather than not like an iPhone.  The truth is that a large portion of the internet still utilizes Flash and that is not going to change overnight.  If it is hogging your battery and slowing your browsing, then you likely do not have it set up properly.  Go into your browser settings and switch “Enable plug-ins” to “on demand”, or simply uninstall Flash.  This will stop any battery hogging or slow loading unless you want it to.  Do not rally against the option for the rest of us that want it.  I still find it useful when the need arises. 

          • Clona

            And don’t blame Flash for poor, overly complicated design.

            I’d like to see http://www.cldesign.biz/swedish done with html5. I tried converting ONE .swf to html5 and it doesn’t support streaming audio. I use multiple .swf’s in different levels. html5 doesn’t support that either.

            To be fair I was converting rather than starting from the ground up. Still it was a very simple .swf with audio…

          • Anonymous

            That’s the point. Devs are set in their ways, and so they mostly lash out against HTML5 because it’s such a painful transition from the Flash they’re used to. Over time, we’ll all be better for it, but I know it will be difficult in the meantime.

          • Clona

            It’s certainly is painful. And I am not a Dev, unless you mean Devil…

            It’s painful because, in terms of rich media online, html5 is a digression not a progression, particularly if I have to dumb down functionality and my boomer and disabled clients are discriminated against because their experiences are compromised. The only kind of Gingerbread they care about is the little tasty snack they make for their grandkids.

            Did you turn on your sound and look at the sample I posted? It’s not out of self promotion; more it is about something innovative, beautiful and functional. I’m sure there are things that could be improved; that’s just evolution. And until html5 evolves to the point of doing what I can already do with Flash, I will keep flashing my clients. Wait, not sure that’s what I mean…

          • Anonymous

            That site seems very geared towards a desktop experience (also, no offense, but calling it ‘beautiful and innovative’ is a stretch. It works, sure, and it’s stylistic), so lack of flash on a mobile device doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. In fact, even if Flash ran perfectly on a phone, the site still wouldn’t work well just because of the way it’s designed.

            Most of that site could be recreated with a combination of HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3. Sorry, but it’s true. And either way, it doesn’t seem to work well on a mobile experience.

          • Clona

            Skyrim, eh? Never mind…

          • Clona

            Using 3 things instead of 1? Classic example of making things more complicated than necessary.

            You’re in the .01% who had negative comments. So full keyboard navigation with 2 types of human audio narration with optional large type at full screen is not innovative? Wow, show me a precedent, I’d love to see it.

            The large round nav buttons work fine on my droid as do all of the other features.

            I appreciate your feedback though, actually. Good point about it being geared toward desktop/laptop experience! Post some of your work for review.

          • Anonymous

            Save the condescending tone and the whole “I want the option” speech. I’m well aware of how to use my OG Droid, and I uninstalled Flash a couple days after I first got it with Froyo (tested it again later on Gingerbread, and MIUI Gingerbread, but it still sucks). I’m sure a large reason why Flash sucks on my phone is that my phone sucks, but the truth is that regardless, Flash is a crappy option that brings little to the table. The option is still there, but it won’t be improved anymore which will only continue to incentive devs to utilize better options.

            I have every right to rally against something I dislike, and you have every right to rally for it.

          • Anonymous

            If you understood your OG as much as you claim, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.  You need to learn its limits, especially with such little RAM.  I also am still using my OG Droid and Flash is running adequately.  MIUI is pretty, but is junk on the OG, unless you remove most optional apps, but even then it is questionable.  It is too resource hungry and doesn’t have the memory management proficiency that CyanogenMod 7 has (allow purging of assets, VM Heap size 48, variable Compcache controls).  Try CM7 Nightly 201 (Android 2.3.5) or Nightly 224 (Android 2.3.7).  Recently, it’s been stable (much faster since they passed Android 2.3.5-.7) except some quirks with the power widget in the notification tray.  I just installed Nightly 248 and have yet thoroughly test it, but it seems snappy and stable thus far.  Also, if you have less than 46MB free of system space (more is even better), you are going to run into problems with any intensive app/addon.  Just like on a PC, you need to have a minimum of free disk space.

            Regardless, I do not understand your avid hatred of something you apparently don’t even use.  

          • Anonymous

            Again, thank you for your condescending tone and constant spew of irrelevant information, but I’m not 80 and I don’t have any performance issues with my phone. This may be a shock to you, but I neither need nor want Flash on my phone, and I have zero interest in getting it to work. When I get my Galaxy Nexus, I won’t bother installing it or Adobe Air. It just doesn’t offer anything I want, end of story.

            Now, back to Skyrim!

          • Anonymous

            Skyrim 4 life

    • trolololo

      Looks like its time to go to the mobile xnxx site from now on -_-

      • Kindof Madness

        Ok, I’m gonna sound like a porn-addict here… if you tap the download link on the bottom it will open the video on your android devices video player… if you tap and hold it you will be given the option to save the video to your device…

    • Yes, that would be be the next stage!

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    This only makes sense as part of a long-term sea change in the Web. It’s also a huge burden on Adobe to continue developing and optimizing flash for an increasing number of platforms. AIR looks great, but that abandons in-page video and flash content (like websites that use flash menus only) on phones AND tablets. With ever-faster hardware and more frequent mobile access, it doesn’t seem like good timing so again, I think they’re looking at something we’re not. Perhaps webM and html5 are about to find more traction.

    Yes, Jobs didn’t want flash three or four years ago, but who knows exactly why; all we heard was marketing hype. He also said mobile OSes didn’t need dedicated apps and mobile-friendly web sites would do the job. I’d love to see us end up there but for now, dedicated apps or AIR apps seem like the best halfway step.

    • He didn’t want Flash because it was unstable, slow, hogged the battery, was a security vulnerability, and more importantly, would make Apple dependent on a third-party company that has abandoned partners in the past (including Apple) to serve its own interests.

      Guess how RIM feels about learning that lesson now that the very foundation of the BlackBerry PlayBook and BBX won’t be updated.

  • kretz
  • Anonymous

    about time this POS battery eating, cpu hogging software is dead.

  • shdowman


  • Anonymous

    Remember when Adobe said during their conference call that if Apple didn’t start supporting Flash on mobile devices, then they would be in some trouble……about that.

  • Josh Flowers

    underlying story—Apple bought Adobe. Apple takes out Adobe to prevent Android from touting Apple users with, “full flash experience” on phones & tablets.

    Case Closed.

    • Anonymous

      I’m pretty sure the underlying story has more to do with Adobe saying something after the original iPhone was released about how it wasn’t good enough to handle flash, so Steve Jobs held the Adobe grudge from that point forward.

  • Anonymous

    From an ideological standpoint, I’d prefer the world be in html5 rather than in flash, which is proprietary and has performance issues. As an end user though, a lot of content is locked into flash, and I want to be able to access it.

    • Only real way to actually transition people to a true standard is to stop supporting the proprietary format. If Apple had given in, we’d all be locked into that proprietary Flash code instead of making real progress.

  • Davros

    Although it may be a little slower I love being able to use the same websites as I do on a computer and this is very important to me. I hated every facebook app I tried. never really liked tapatalk. Really hope there is a new product in the works that will still allow me to use the regular web. If there were no full web user experience in a couple years I would have to seriously reconsider having a smart phone at all. Now where did I leave those cans and string 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Flash was one of the things that made android unique 

  • Anonymous

    The current android market build has flash support. I doubt google will just dump it for the old one

  • RAWR

    i dont know why people are so mad/sad over this. yeah they are not developing for it anymore, but it will still be there and they are releasing 11.1, so who cares…flash will still be on android. I bet in a year we will see a fully intergrated chrome browser on android phones that runs the same adobe flash thats on are pcs.

  • Djenks24

    Lets hope Google has something up their sleeve.  Does the new browser in ICS need flash?  How does that work?  Do they know something we don’t, this doesn’t make any sense?!?!?!?!?!?!

  • Sporttster

    It was too large a app in size and didn’t work half the time anyway. It was a huge buggy mess!! So good riddance. If you can’t fix it, then dump it. Sounds like Adobes way of doing business. Time for efficient,WORKING alternatives…key word there…working.

  • Anonymous

    This is frakking retarded!  Was Steve Jobs last dying wish for Adobe to pull one of Android’s biggest advantages over iFruit?  How does this make sense?  I use it constantly, but on demand of course.  Even on my OG Droid it works rather well, and fantastic on my hacked Nook.  If it isn’t working on your device, you are likely doing it wrong.  It’s all about resources.  You likely have too many programs running at once, updating, etc, and likely don’t have enough free space.  For my OG, the sweet spot is around 46 MB free with CM7.  Try using 1Tap Cleaner to clear up cache files, move apps to SD, and delete your poorly coded fart apps.

    • Jarred Sutherland

      Here’s your problem .. you obviously have the knowledge over the majority of mobile users and KNOW how to make it work. You are the 1%, the 99% just want the phone to work and work well without having to screw around with settings and such.

      • Anonymous

        I wouldn’t label being knowledgeable a problem, but you’re right, not enough people know how to use their device properly and blame the tech rather than user error.  iPhone is for those that want their product to magically work without thought, but at the sacrifice of functionality.  You can liken the differences between platforms to transportation.  The iPhone is like a bus.  It is maintained by an unknown source and takes you to specific places at specific times.  Android is like owning a car, on occasion you have to change the oil and rotate the tires, but you can go more places and on your own schedule.  Google  needs to do a better job and teaching the benefits and proper usage of our devices.  Just like a car, it isn’t hard to do some basic things each week to keep it snappy.  There are a ton of apps out there that automate this with a tap or two (like a mechanic for your phone).  Perhaps Droid-Life needs to add a special section on the basics.  Want me to write it?  😉

        • pj

          I really like your analogy! I’m stealing that one

  • Jarrett Mattina

    Rarely used it, couldn’t care less.

  • Sucks, but I only used Flash in the bathroom. And I was in the bathroom ALL THE TIME!

  • TheFanboyShuffle

    And thus begins the largest backtrack in android history.  It’s going to be pathetic to see all of you talk about how you barely used flash and how this loss isn’t meaningful.  This coming from the users that constantly bash the iPhone for not having flash.  Bunch of hypocritical fandroids. 

    •  You’re the f*cking loser that trolls Android websites when you are obviously an Apple fanboy, so please don’t even think about attempting to speak down to the rest of us.

      • Jarred Sutherland

        Going to play this card here …

        u mad bro?

      • Anonymous

        Why play into his hands?  That’s what he wants you to do.  Just flag and move on. 

      • Trevor

        Haters gonna make some good points

  • Anonymous

    Yay! We don’t need it. It’s about time and I fully supported Steve in calling Adobe out. Time to move forward!

  • Anonymous

    Flash barely works on desktop computers.  The mobile version was a disaster.  If anything this will finally spur on new innovation instead of relying on flash.  I, for one, will not miss all the security updates. 

    • No, people will just start releasing horrible browsers in the app store with their crappier version of flash…

      • Anonymous

        I don’t have flash installed on my Droid X and I can legitimately say that I have not run into a single occasion where I needed flash.  App work arounds are always faster and better on the battery. 

        And it’s the Market, not the app store.

  • Whatever you think of Apple, this is an important lesson not about web standards but about technology itself. Mobile Flash failed because it’s a classic example of implementing technology for its own sake, not because it’s good.

    Adobe threw a temper tantrum around Apple, making all kinds of false claims about Apple “ruining the web” and denying basic human freedoms, not because it was denying a real standard but because it wasn’t accepting Flash without question.

    Adobe wanted Apple to use Flash as-is: no matter how buggy, battery-draining, crash-prone, proprietary, or slow it was, it “had” to be used only because that’s how Adobe makes money.  Apple knew it was important to get embedded video and advanced animation on the web — and it has, with HTML5 — but it didn’t want to rely on one company’s non-standard, unfinished plugin to get there.  Google was looking for something, anything to differentiate Android, so it made a pact and took up Adobe’s false connection between Flash and liberty as its own selling point.

    The good news for Android, even with the plugin loss: Android hardware makers can stop obsessing over a plugin and start marketing their actual products.