Last November, Adobe announced its plans to cease development of mobile Flash Player for Android and focus its efforts on Flash Player for PC. Today the company has confirmed that on August 15, it will be removing the software from Google Play, and that devices without Flash Player already installed will no longer have access to it. That means there will be no certified solution for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Adobe said in its press release this morning:
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.
Adobe says that the easiest way to ensure ongoing access to Flash Player on your devices running Android 4.0 and earlier is to use a “certified” device that has Flash Player pre-installed by the manufacturer, or to ensure you have downloaded the software from Google Play prior to August 15.
Once you have that software, it might be worth making a backup of the .apk file, because if you need to restore your device after August 15, Flash Player will be hard to find.
For those planning to upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean later this year, Adobe recommends that you abandon existing Flash Player releases altogether:
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.
But it’s not all bad news. Websites have long been migrating from Flash to HTML5 to support Apple’s hugely popular iOS devices, and so it’s likely that the vast majority of Android users will hardly notice its disappearance. I’ve been using an iPhone for the past five years and I’ve coped without Flash just fine.