Adobe officially pulled Flash for Android from the Google Play store on Wednesday, all but ending the dream of mobile Flash as a viable platform. The move was announced on an Adobe blog post on June 28th, but Flash remained available on Google Play until Wednesday.
Current Adobe Apps on Google Play
In that blog post, Adobe wrote, “Beginning August 15th we will use the configuration settings in the Google Play Store to limit continued access to Flash Player updates to only those devices that have Flash Player already installed. Devices that do not have Flash Player already installed are increasingly likely to be incompatible with Flash Player and will no longer be able to install it from the Google Play Store after August 15th.”
At one time, Flash was the center of much invented controversy. It started with Apple’s decision not to allow Flash on the iPhone—and eventually the iPad. The late Steve Jobs penned a letter in 2010 titled “Thoughts on Flash” where he derided the technology as problematic and a battery suck for mobile devices.
“We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now,” he wrote. “We have never seen it.”
That touched off a war of words from Adobe, who defended Flash, and Apple competitors who decided that the way to compete with the iPhone and iPad was to offer Flash. Companies like Research In Motion tried to make it a rallying cry for those who wanted the full Web experience on their mobile devices.
Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen went so far as to predict the demise of the iPad in June of 2011 based in part on the lack of Flash support.
Android fans and OEMs also tried to make a rallying cry, but in the end no one cared. Adobe did release Flash for Android, but it was criticized by many users and pundits and never took off. It turns out that Flash didn’t help Research In Motion’s BlackBerry or Playbook and that Android was able to do quite well without Flash.