The Death of Mobile Flash

The Beginning of the End

Apple was the first to announce that it wouldn’t be supporting Flash on iOS. At the time of the announcement, Apple was severely criticized for not offering Flash support, as Flash was almost ubiquitous on the web.

Initially, when Android was still in its infancy, it was one of the few reasons, why anyone would choose Android over iOS. Flash support on Android pretty much sucked, but at least it was there.

It was assumed that Apple would see the error of its ways, and eventually work with Adobe to include Flash support on iOS, but that day never came.

Et Tu, Windows?

When Windows 8 was launched, Microsoft announced that it wouldn’t be supporting Flash support in the Metro view of Internet Explorer, which pretty much confirmed that even Microsoft didn’t believe Flash could ever perform well on mobile devices. Since the launch of Windows Phone, it was assumed that Flash would eventually come to the platform, but even that never happened.

Adobe Gives Up

Finally, around two weeks ago, Adobe gave up on Flash on mobile. It announced that it would be ending all future development on Flash player for new mobile devices, and would instead focus on HTML 5. Here’s why: Why Adobe Had to Kill Flash for Mobile

Today, Google confirmed that Flash won’t be available for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Android.

However, they also said this:

Flash hasn’t been released for ICS yet so as far as we know, Adobe will support Flash for ICS. Google

So we don’t really know whether or not Flash is going to be available on Ice Cream Sandwich, but it’s very likely that it won’t be.

With the top 3 mobile platforms – iOS, Android and Windows Phone – officially not supporting Flash anymore, it’s dead.

Maybe Steve Jobs was right all along. Flash was never meant for mobile.

Update: Adobe seems to have confirmed that it will ship Flash for Android 4.0 before the end of 2011, but that it will be its last Flash release for Android.

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