Adobe May Have Dropped Flash Support For Android, But You Don’t Have To

    July 26, 2012
    Zach Walton
    Comments are off for this post.

You may remember last month when Adobe announced that Jelly Bean was not going to get Flash. Ice Cream Sandwich was going to be the last version of Android to have official support for Flash and the software was only going to be up on Google Play until August 15. It will be gone forever after that.

Some people did not like that ultimatum so they went about getting Flash to run on Jelly Bean. Even if Adobe wasn’t going to provide support, the intrepid folks over at XDA were going to put Flash on Jelly Bean one way or the other.

Stempox over at the XDA forums created a guide for installing Flash on Android 4.1 devices. Censura_Umbra created a similar guide for installing Flash on the Nexus 7. The guides detail how to install Flash Player on Jelly Bean devices that will work just like Flash has always worked before.

For regular Jelly Bean devices, you’re going to want to download the .apk of Flash Player. After that, copy the files to the SD card of your Android device. Install it using a file manager and start up the browser. In the browser, uncheck the Flash Player option and you will now have the latest version of Flash installed on Jelly Bean.

As for Nexus 7 users, you’re going to want to root the tablet first. After that, download this browser to the tablet. Place the app in your /system/app folder and change the permissions from rw—– to rw-r–r–. If you see a file named browser provider.apk or browser provider.odex, you will need to add a 1 to the end of the file name. From then on, you should have Flash installed on your Nexus 7.

Stempox notes that Flash is not officially supported on Android 4.1, so there might be some compatibility issues. He does say that it works just fine for now. There might be other issues that arise over the next few months, but other developers will find workarounds. With the Android platform being as open as it is, it’s nice to see developers keeping software alive on devices.

[h/t: Talk Android]
  • Steve G

    Flash sucks period. The only reason for it was so people couldn’t easily copy your content and really they can spend the time to recreate it if they really wanted to. Not to mention that flash crashes from time to time and is slow compared to html 5 which can do everything flash can and more.

    • trlkly

      No, it was popular because it presented a unified framework that worked on all browsers, unlike HTML5 where the best coded stuff works on maybe one or two browsers. Java was the only competition at the time, but people didn’t like coding entire apps just to do animation and stuff.

      Flash also was originally pitched as an alternative to Quicktime, which, at that point, was making interactive multimedia content like Flash uses today, but on CDs and stuff instead of the web. Flash got in on the web, and Quicktime wound up becoming just movies.

      Flash video even exists because of the unified platform. Everyone already had Flash, so it was easier to play video with that than to make them download Quicktime or RealPlayer. Flash was there, so people used it. All other video solutions had DRM options, so Flash added them too. and HTML5 is going to add it, too.

      Same for ads–Flash was conveniently already there, and allowed for rich content. Hence, it was used.

      The only reason that HTML5 can even work now is that Microsoft is on board, so the web browser that comes with most computers will be able to use HTML5. Microsoft is finally sticking with standards, so maybe we can get some type of commonality between browsers without a proprietary plugin. But we sure aren’t there yet.

  • John

    Probably just as well Flash is gone. I won’t go out of my way to hack Flash when Adobe is not updating it. Too much of a security risk for me. I’ll just let Flash die on my Nexus 7

    • trlkly

      If you are using Flash now, which it sure sounds like is the case, don’t think that those sites you use will suddenly work in HTML5.

      Also, have there even been any Flash-based exploits of Android devices? Do you really think those will go up because fewer people will be using Flash?

  • trolllover

    html5 tries to do what flash does but is a pain in the ass and 1/2 as good. Not to mention inconsistent across the 8+ browsers. It will never recreate the consistent, fluid, ONE OF A KIND EXPERIENCE of flash.

    The hack is not for a mobile version of the player. Adobe is updating flash for non mobile.

  • Christos

    Flash might suck but it’s not about that. it’s about choice and freedom. I own my phone-google/verizon/adobe do not pay my bills. therefore i should get to choose what i want to use. If jellybean doesn’t support flash, fine. Let me go back to gingerbread. Ive used a mac and pc for years and have never been forced to update my operating system. This is a bunch of BS from Android/Adobe.

  • Mr. F

    Any New link for the .apk of Flash Player?

    • Paul


  • Jamie S

    Need help here. Brand-newbie to Android, just got my first tablet (Samsung Galaxy 2 10″) and find that I can’t watch streaming Amazon video, then stumble on all this stuff about Flash. Have never been a fan of Adobe, really PO’d now. My question is: Is there any immediate solution to this problem?

    • Paul

      Wow… are you the Adobe Flash Advertiser/Support Person???!
      Please, all we want is for Adobe to recognize Android as a credible o.s.
      WTF???? Make Flash available so I can watch my news videos etc. on my android tablet? Want me to pay a couple dollars??? NO PROBLEM!!!

  • Ihsan

    Well, I am amazed. I can not understand people who can just judge -any- product this fast. “Flash sucks”… Wow. Is that it?

    Flash had 11 evolutions. More then 96% of web clients now contain flash with the “will” of their users. Do you know why? Because it does not suck.

    Flash is no more a movie format etc. It is a completely programmable interactive software framework. And generally (with some tweaks) it is platform independant.

    Flash now has some architectural flaws. Ok. But they all have workarounds. Real programmers do not write resource pigs. And unfortunately there are many people who does not care about the impact of the lines they wrote on the target machine.

    Flash is not a resource pig. But it will become one when you ask it to rotate 1000+ polygons simultaneously at each frame on a non GPU system.

    Flash will not die. In fact if adobe plays the cards correctly, it will be everywhere. In your smart tv, wristwatch etc. Flash has the possibility to become the defacto standard of future multimedia systems with an embedded micro os with hosting and upgrading capability of flash.

    Sorry for you but I do not buy “flash sucks” talk.
    Look down from your ivory towers and have a look at the industry.
    See the numbers. How many hard working companies, programmers and entrepreneurs invest on adobe flash and why.

    • Bmg

      Even adobe is giving up on flash, html5 seems to be the way to go, so just let it go.

  • Mollie

    I’m seriously peeved. Have just bought an android tab and found out there’s no flash. Whether flash sucks or not, it is still being used extensively here in Aus and I now can’t access tv on demand, online games, embedded video content etc. To add to the frustration, the tablet has Android’s ice cream sandwich which it seems that Adobe did create a version of flash for less than 12 months ago. If they are so bent on discontinuing it, why not just keep it available and not create any more versions? Why make it unavailable altogether?!

  • Dave

    I have followed the above instructions on my Nexus 7, but still cannot use iPlayer. I just see a blue ‘lego’ cube instead.

  • Dave M

    Flash has seriously started to suck. It constantly crashes on my PC, requiring a Browser restart, but it’s a pain in the ass especially when you’re multi-tabbing. But this dropping of Flash support for Android devices with 4.0+ just sucks. It’d be like gas stations to stop selling gasoline in favor of natural gas or electric plug-ins when 99% of the vehicles still use gasoline/diesel. In other words, most on-line content still uses Flash, rather than HTML5, and yet we have no way of accessing Flash content.

  • http://n/a rich

    WTF? If something is wrong, then do something about it, fix it, and if you can’t ,the last thing to do is argue with or piss
    off people who obviously know what they are talking about, like lhsan. I was always told that when Iam talking with someone who knows way more than me is to; sit down, shut up, and listen.

    Just my 2 unsolicited sense/cents