Jelly Bean may be the next iteration of the Android operating system, but it’s the end of the line for Adobe’s mobile Flash Player. Yesterday, Adobe announced that it won’t be developing an Android 4.1-compatible version of its Flash Player. Devices that don’t already have Flash installed won’t be able to download the browser plugin from the Google Play Store after August 15th.
The news doesn’t exactly come as a shock, as Adobe announced last November that it was ceasing mobile Flash support in order to focus on desktop development and Adobe AIR. Apple has never allowed Flash on its iOS devices for reasons highlighted in a famous (and blistering) open letter from Steve Jobs.
Adobe includes a word of warning for Android devices that update to Jelly Bean:
If a device is upgraded from Android 4.0 to Android 4.1, the current version of Flash Player may exhibit unpredictable behavior, as it is not certified for use with Android 4.1. Future updates to Flash Player will not work. We recommend uninstalling Flash Player on devices which have been upgraded to Android 4.1.
A mainstay on traditional computers, the proprietary Adobe Flash failed to gain much traction in the mobile arena as developers turned to more mobile-friendly and Apple-supported open standards such as HTML5. The company admitted as much in the November post that announced the halting of mobile development, saying that “On mobile devices, (HTML5) has a level of ubiquity similar to what the Flash Player has on the desktop.”