Flash Player to vanish from Android store on Wednesday

Mobile users won't have Flash to kick around anymore


If you really, really want to use the Flash Player plugin for Android and you haven't downloaded it already, you'd better move quickly. Tomorrow, August 15, is the day Adobe will pull it from the Google Play store.

The software maker has said it will adjust the configuration settings on the Flash Player page in Google Play on Wednesday so that future updates will only be visible to devices that already have a version of the plugin installed.

No new devices will be able to install the plugin from the store after that date, no matter what version of Android they are running.

The move comes as Adobe gears down its efforts to support the Flash Player on mobile platforms. As previously reported, Adobe has said it will not develop a Flash Player plugin for Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" nor any future version of Google's mobile OS.

Neither will it work with the search giant to get Flash running in its new Chrome browser for Android, found in the Google Play store for devices running Android 4.0 or later and which shipped as the default browser on the Chocolate Factory's fast-selling Nexus 7 tablet.

Instead, Adobe says it plans to concentrate its Flash efforts on desktop machines and on its Adobe AIR runtime for mobile devices, which allows developers to package Flash content as standalone mobile apps, rather than delivering them through the browser.

Adobe AIR is available in the Google Play store for devices running Android 2.2 and up, including Jelly Bean, and the Photoshop monger says it will continue to "actively invest" in AIR for mobile platforms, even as it abandons the mobile Flash Player.

All in all, that's probably a sound decision. For all the hype, the Flash Player for Android was never up to par with its desktop cousin. Flash performance was highly device-dependent, and with the exception of videos, Flash content formatted for desktop browsers was often a poor fit for tiny mobile touchscreens.

Android users who really, really, really want to install the Flash Player plugin after August 15 – or more likely, developers who need it to debug their Flash code on older Android devices – will be still be able to download older versions from Adobe's archive.

As Adobe points out, though, users who load the Flash Player directly in this way will not receive any future updates to the plugin, as they would if they had installed it from the Google Play store.

Adobe has said it will continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing installations of the Flash Player plugin on Android devices until September 13, 2013. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?
    Also, Chinese IT admin jailed for deleting database, and the NSA promises no more backdoors

    In brief The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom. 

    Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's computer systems, gaining a foothold in 27 agencies at various government levels. The US State Department has offered a $15 million reward leading to the capture of Conti's leaders, who it said have made more than $150 million from 1,000+ victims.

    Conti claimed this week that it has insiders in the Costa Rican government, the AP reported, warning that "We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency." 

    Continue reading
  • China-linked Twisted Panda caught spying on Russian defense R&D
    Because Beijing isn't above covert ops to accomplish its five-year goals

    Chinese cyberspies targeted two Russian defense institutes and possibly another research facility in Belarus, according to Check Point Research.

    The new campaign, dubbed Twisted Panda, is part of a larger, state-sponsored espionage operation that has been ongoing for several months, if not nearly a year, according to the security shop.

    In a technical analysis, the researchers detail the various malicious stages and payloads of the campaign that used sanctions-related phishing emails to attack Russian entities, which are part of the state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec Corporation.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022