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No Flash support for Android 4.1, not even by Third Party Apps

Imagine buying a luxurious car with no wheels? It may sound tad absurd but try depicting the scenario, somehow. You buy the car thinking you would get those wheels installed at some nearby garage. What if even those guys refuse you to tack on the wheels? Would you curse yourself for being stupid enough to buy such a car, would you curse the car-manufacturer for not providing wheels or would you slander the good-guy for being not able to help?

That’s exactly the kind of dilemma Jellybean users have been put into.

We reported a few days back about how Android 4.1 would be void of Adobe Flash Player. We did not know then that Flash won’t work inside the flesh as well as outside the flesh.

What we apparently mean here is that we thought although Android 4.1 did not natively support Adobe Flash, Third-party apps would resolve the issue for the avant-garde Android-users by providing flash support for Jelly bean users.

However, as fate would have it, things do not seem flashy. Third-party Android browsers like Opera Mobile, Dolphin HD, and Firefox have already downplayed the thoughts of integrating Flash in Android 4.1. Adobe announced this last week following the Google I/O conference which clearly stated that Google 4.1 won’t support Flash.

Opera spokesman Thomas Ford asserted that it would be next to impossible to support Flash if the operating system itself did not support Flash. Though most websites now-a-days are encoded in the HTML5 format, interactive sites with rich media like videos, games and online publications pre-requisitely have embedded Flash plugins.

Google’s native browser- Google Chrome would be perhaps the first Flash-free Android browser. As more and more people are switching over to HTML5, Adobe realised that it won’t reach the same level of ubiquity with smartphones as it did with PCs.

Till now, Flash had been the distinguishing point between Apple and Android. Flash support had become a cult and perhaps considered a legitimate reason for rampant growth in the Android market. It provided rich controls and executed multimedia proficiently. The lack of Flash support would perhaps disappoint a few but for majority, it won’t be such a big issue (hopefully) as HTML5 which would replace Flash would have better functionalities and a more interactive interface.

RIM and Microsoft however would continue supporting Flash on their devices- Microsoft Surface and Playbook. We do not know if Android is going to stick to this stand.

The million dollar question nevertheless is does it make sense to drop Flash in eave of HTML5?

Is new always better?


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  1. Walking on the road believing that it won’t rain is good. If you’re lucky, you won’t get wet. But it’s always good to have an umbrella along. 🙂

  2. Yeah. HTML5 is better, undoubtedly. 🙂

    But abandoning one for another. Is that the way to go?
    Why look for a compromise when you are shelling so many bucks just to get the best device?

  3. There are thousands of poorly updated sites out there, mostly commercial sites farmed out to clueless graphic designers stuck in 2005, whose interface is one big flash object. They’re a tiny fraction of the net, but I manage to encounter them pretty much every day. Right now, though it’s painful, I can access those on my Android phone.

    My next phone will probably be running Jellybean when I buy it, so that’ll be a step backward in compatibility. The good news is, anyone developing a site today probably realizes flash means their site won’t work on an iPad or iPhone. So as more and more web use shifts to mobile devices, site designers will be forced to abandon Flash and sites will become more accessible to everyone.

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