Adobe Backs Off Flash Support on Android - InformationWeek

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6/29/2012
09:24 AM
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Adobe Backs Off Flash Support on Android

The variety of devices and OS configurations makes it difficult for Adobe to optimize Android properly in a plugin general to the operating system, so the company will be withdrawing support for the plugin.

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In a message posted on their blog site yesterday, Adobe announced that Android 4.1 (a.k.a. Jelly Bean) would not be getting Flash support. In fact, Flash development for the entire Android product line would be dropped.

Adobe will also be using the lock down controls in the Google Play store to prevent the installation of the current version of Flash Player on any device that Adobe doesn't deem certified for Flash. Click here for the list of certified devices. Conspicuous by their absence are the latest top-of-the-line Android smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X, both of which shipped with Android 4.0 and currently can download the Flash Player from Google Play.

As of August 15th, only certified devices will be able to download the last version of Flash for Android, and only if they are running a version of Android prior to 4.1. Adobe recommends that users who migrate to Android 4.1 uninstall Flash Player from their devices as there might be unpredictable results on the unsupported OS version.

In essence, Adobe is claiming that Flash needs to tightly integrate with the hardware and operating system for optimal performance. The wide variety of Android devices prevents them from providing an acceptable version for all devices. A look at the Adobe Flash roadmap, shows that Adobe's focus is going to be in developing Flash into a premium gaming platform that will be able to generate additional revenue through the activation of "Premium" features.

Attempting to turn the vast majority of poorly-performing Android phones into suitable gaming devices with Flash would be doomed to failure. It appears that Adobe is getting out of this potentially damaging market for a premium Flash version focused on performance and game play.

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