Update: It looks like we can strip the rumor tag from this one -- Adobe made it official. Flash for mobile is dead. Check out the full details at the Adobe Blog. RIP, mobile Flash. You will be missed.

To clarify, Flash isn't going to just disappear from the Market, and in fact Adobe will continue to provide security patches. However, since they won't adapt it to new browser, OS, and device configurations, there is a chance it will stop working at some point in the future or won't work at all on newer devices.

According to ZDNet, Adobe is throwing in the towel on Flash for all mobile platforms (Android included), and will encourage developers to use AIR and HTML5 in the future as alternatives to the company's iconic web plugin. This follows hot on the heels of news that Adobe is cutting 750 jobs at its North American and European arms. The announcement regarding Flash is expected to come at a financial analyst meeting tomorrow.

Flash for Android has a storied history, and often served as the cornerstone for arguments that only Android allows mobile users to experience the "full" web on their smartphone and tablet devices. While Adobe will continue providing security updates to the Flash for Android platform, its development as a product will effectively end.

The lackluster performance of Flash in mobile (and, let's face it, any) applications and the increasing hype around HTML5, as well as Adobe's financial circumstances, are likely to blame.

The supposed announcement was leaked to ZDNet, below:

Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates.

ZDNet, TechCrunch

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • al

    Man thats actually a real shame. Im wondering if I want to get a android tablet now. As much as everyone says flash is dying etc..etc.. its still used pretty much everywhere.

    I can understand them not doing it on phones but tablets it would be very useful.

  • Tkun

    Jeez, really? If this is true, websites should start implementing HTML5 asap. Ugh, I honestly expected flash to last for another 10 years before being replaced by HTML5, now it looks like it'll be around for less than 5 before HTML5 starts being regularly used instead of flash.

    • al

      Yeah remember how everyone thought flash would be out pretty quick due to the popularity of iOS and look how its still used.

      I dont think android not having it either will make much difference to that.

  • alasdair

    Does this mean I wont be able to take pictures at night anymore with my fone???

    • Aghnaar

      Not sure if serious, but they are talking about the software, not the flashlight

      • Ron

        A needed that little laugh tonight.

    • George C

      Yes. But thankfully some phones are equipped with DUAL! Flash. So one will still work.

      • David Ruddock

        I lol'd.

      • Joshp9690

        *put's on sunglasses* YEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

      • Shashi

        Dude! Flash is killed. not just one.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    • mrbrooks418

      Lmfao.... .

      • Sam Drake

        Wow and i thought that my mum struglling to turn the tv on was retarded but you my special friend take it to a whole new level

    • Calvin

      +5 ROFLOLMFAO oh oh somebody help me..... i cant breath,,,, lolololol :)

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    Well, I really hope HTML5 steps it up big time, because right now HTML5 video performance is laughable compared to Flash, at least on desktops. I can see how it should be far better to concentrate on HTML5 on mobile, however, and do it right, as that platform is not nearly as mature as desktop Flash.

  • Robbert

    I don't believe this rumor. Mobile Flash works great and it's still used everywhere.

    • jake

      It is, and you'll continue using it, and Adobe will provide security patches, but further development will cease. Doesn't mean Flash will just disappear. I think this will end up being true.

  • Ian

    It's just a rumor. Flash will be in continuous support for Android devices. =)

    • jake

      I think it'll materialize tomorrow. It makes sense, and ZDNet doesn't post random crap.

  • https://plus.google.com/103133177397090504113/about Tony Sidaway

    Bad show, Android Police. Either you have breaking news or you're repeating unconfirmed gossip. Please don't misrepresent rumours like this.

    • jake

      It's a rumor from a reliable source, and it's a pretty big deal. What's the problem?

    • David Ruddock

      Misrepresent? Yes, because ZDNet is such a rumor-mongering bunch of yellow journalists. We tagged it "rumor" because we haven't received independent confirmation.

      Don't blame us for the news, dude.

    • Zack

      Read the headline where it says "rumor" ... Mr.Grumpy.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Breaking and rumor can go hand-in-hand - we're not mis-representing it as confirmed news, and it's a pretty breaking subject. The label stands.

    • Robert

      Wow, you must feel really stupid now.

  • JH

    Strange. I find that Flash works well on my Android - but is a piece of crap on my Windows...

    • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

      Haha flash crashes constantly on my PC. On my phone, never. Now given, the PC version is doing much more most of the time, but it still sucks. I would not mind to see flash go away eventually, but I think if this is true, we need more details as to the planned wind-down before I take it too seriously or run for the hills.

      • codeflayer

        I really don't know why the "I wish flash would go away" sentiment prevails. It really is a great piece of software and, at this point in time, HTML5 lacks the capability to build large scale applications. I'd prefer to see Flash stick around.

  • Hands0n

    Good news (if true) and good riddance to Flash. I accept its place in history but now it is beyond time to move on. Why, in 2011 , does anyone find it necessary and acceptable to need to install a software layer in order to view Web content in a standard browser? In this day and age that is plain ridiculous. HTML 5 is the way forward. Plain and simple. Technologists can be such Luddites.

    • Joshp9690

      You either own an iPhone, or an HTC Desire to be an anti-flash zealot. FUCK YOU.

    • codeflayer

      The reason? I don't have time to code a moderately large scale app tailored to 4+ different browsers with their own tweaks. Clients don't accept that your app doesn't work in IE6 (yes really) It's much nicer to code it once and know that it will work regardless of what browser the user has.

      • Prophet Zarquon

        Get new clients. IE6 is an outdated, unsafe, deprecated browser & Microsoft no longer supports it, only says "update".

        I'm all for using old machines, but even my old Celeron runs HTML5 these days, and having to install a buggy, bloated, unsafe application like Adobe Flash is not more compatible, it's less.

        YouTube is almost unuseable on any machine prior to a Core 2 Duo now, whether viewed in HTML5 or Flash. Viewing the same videos minus the rest of the page works fine.

        Apps do not adequately replace full Desktop style web browsing. Flash support on touchscreens has always been hit & miss (many Flash pages & apps still cannot be accessed without a mouse) but browsers with neither HTML5 nor Flash are practically crippled these days. Meanwhile, savvy web developers are finding out that you don't need proprietary solutions to put rich media on the web anymore. Bottom line: Web browsers need to support HTML5 using open codecs or they will become obsolete. Adobe is treading water along with the rest of the rest of the last-century "intellectual property" holders, but that's another troll entirely.

        (Meanwhile, my Galaxy S III is unsupported by Flash & the best of it's three mobile browsers can barely allow me to type in this text field.)

    • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

      Flash and HTML 5 are not antithetical: you can wrap Flash content with the appropriate HTML 5 tag. It is then up to the browser to support the Flash content. Firefox(?) and Chrome already do this if memory serves correctly.

  • James Katt

    Flash is dead. The witch is dead. Thank God. Finally.

    • Dan

      You are a typical zealot. Flash works just fine on my mobile device and the fact remains that it is used currently all over the web, whether Steve Jobs or you want it or not.
      It is one thing to offer user's a choice to turn it on or off and another to force down the throat and cut off access to a large portion of content and sites.
      What is the the most astonishing and should be studied in psychology and sociology classes is how immensely successful Apple was and is at manipulating the minds of the masses - on one hand positioning itself as the alternative to the big brother (think different campaign, anti-IBM ad) and at the same time constantly forcing users to do it Apple way or the highway.

      • Jeff

        Why are you bringing Apple into this? Flash has always been a resource hog, even on Android. You would be deluded to think that HTML5 isn't a superior option for the niche that is covered by Flash at the moment.

        Steve Jobs was not the first, nor the last, critic of Flash. He was not the sole deciding factor to the success or failure of Flash.

  • fx32

    When I saw this I was shocked but I don't think its going to destroy anriods edge on internet browsing. And html 5 better needs to step up there video quality is pathetic in comparison.

  • Tim

    If this is true, I wonder if Apple has anything to do with this? Seeing as Flash is one of Android's main selling points, it would of course be in Apple's best interests to neutralize that advantage.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

      Doubtful, considering Apple and Adobe are not really the best of friends. That is why Flash is not on iDevices because Apple didn't allow it, not because Android had it so they couldn't.

      Natural evolution of technologies.

    • AB

      Apple, and especially the success of the iPad, has everything to do with it. When I worked at Adobe, we heard from Flash developers constantly that their clients insist that they not use Flash even though the project would be done faster, cheaper, and with a better user experience in Flash.

      This was not a technical decision on Adobe's part (Flash is faster and more efficient than currently available HTML 5 implementations at doing the same thing), it is a business decision.

      • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

        But that can't be the case; "Android is winning!"

      • ocdtrekkie

        It may be a business decision, but I doubt it had anything to do with Apple. The majority of mobile devices out there, including Android and others, all supported Flash. They had plenty of market share.

  • Calum

    Only problem with this news is that Adobe AIR sucks, too.

  • Col

    Steve Jobs, You win! :-)

  • Simon

    I dont think flash is dead, just taking a new direction into gaming. The fact they have new 3D hardware access with molehill and they are focusing on AIR for mobile backs up this idea.

  • xploited

    Adobe Flash works great on dual core phones. Really strange decision to dump it.

    And in case you are wondering why Flash is still being used everywhere in favor of HTML5 - the latter has no content protection mechanisms, none at all.

  • djkoz78

    Html5 is the future and all right? But not many websites use it yet. There are tons of suites I like to view from my phone that doesn't support html5 yet supports flash. By the time that html5 is the new standard it could be 5 years from now. I'm all for moving forward, but so far as I've seen hardly any sites use the new tech except for the most popular websites out there. I could care less about gaming I'm more interested in video playback. So I would prefer to see flash completely used until html5 has been implemented the way flash is. And what the hell has Adobe been doing on the html 5 front period I don't know much about html5 other than it's supposed to be better than flash, but again so far it's not widely used.

  • Franz

    I'm pretty sure Android killed Flash for mobile. Has anybody ever looked at the recent changes whenever an update rolls out? 90% of those were fixes for a certain phone on which flash had problems or to enable video decoding directly through the SoC. Just to be broken again when the OS is updated. Nobody can support a platform that needs sheer infinite support.

    • AB

      That and 350 poorly implemented, never updated drivers on 350 different phones.

    • djembeman

      What are your sources, and what updates are you talking about? Since Flash was released, even on my Droid 1, has worked great for watching videos on the web.

  • Franky

    HTML 5 is not an will never be a "standart" because "standart" means "the same for all". That was the intent, but it just won't happen. For example: See how MS is trying to force directX as 3D-interface while everyone else wants to use OpenGL because it's free. Or take the mindless format-battles about which video-standart to use. HTML 5 will end up just as messy as the net is right now.
    Do I think Flash is the best cure for that? Certainly not, but it works. And there's a massive community of professional, semi-professional and hobby-flash-developers out there. If Android has been proving one thing it's to never underestimate such a community. So I guess that flash will actually stick around for quite a while, regardless of what Adobe does.

    • AB

      Well the problem is, if you have to do HTML 5 for iPad, which is killing all other tablets, then Flash becomes an extra expense.

  • Robg

    Just release the source code then, let the open source community develope it.

  • David
    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      There we go, thank you.

  • Tom

    Way past time for Flash to go away. It has been a bane of webdevelopers since it started.

    • AB

      How has it been the bane of web developers? Even if you didn't use it, Flash pioneered what people want to use the web for now.

    • Franky

      As a web-developer I strongly disagree. Browser-implementation was the "bane" of webdeveloping. Flash was (and still is!) the only thing that you can rely on looking the same on any browser that has the plugin. The gesture-support added with FP 10.2 also made it easy as cake to make your web-applications useable on touchscreen-devices. IMHO the decision to quit developing Flash when new Android-tablets and handsets are announced virtually every day is plain stupid.

  • Jon Carey

    at least they waited till after Job's died so we wouldn't have to hear his arse gloat.. That's a shame.. but I guess eye-pud's for everyone.. Futures becoming bleaker & bleaker.. all hail eye-pud...

  • Darkseider

    Adobe has just shot itself in the foot. With the introduction of the dual core and quad core SoCs from Qualcomm, nVidia and TI Flash w/ acceleration in the mobile space would have been HUGE. Oh well. You just can't fix stupid.

    • Shalent

      I Believe that Apple is Adobe's first love, (not Android, and Not Rim) and when Adobe originally decided to work for Android, Apple (& Big Daddy Steve ) effectively said I never want to see you around us again.

      When Steve (the Big Daddy) died, Adobe went back to thier first love and said, We really want to be with you..., Apple said what about the other girls... (referring to Android, and RIM) to which Adobe said " who...those gals!?!....They mean nothing to me..) and Apple said "Prove it" ....

      And hear you go... A Lovesick software developer trying to impress the woman he loves... (Ultimately I hope Apple buys Adobe in the next 10 years...that's what happens in the Soap Operas?...No?

  • wee woo police

    Crap, now we can't make fun of iPhone by saying they don't have Flash anymore :(..

    • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

      You say that like it's a bad thing.

      Conversely, now you'll be able to say that the iPhone was right since its debut in 2007. :)

  • froyo

    cool. flash sucks, says steve jobs, agreed by me.

  • Falconator

    Flash is great to have on the phone/tablet when I want to watch videos that my job blocks. Even though it is no longer being developed, it set a mark in the www community and others ultimately worked its magic off of it in some form or fashion. A lot of people don't like it and now HTML5 is the expected successor. After HTML5 runs its course...what will replace that and how many of you kids will bitch about how HTML5 sucked and that the corpse of Steve Jobs said so too? Who cares if you like iphone over android? Years ago, Flash did something that others didn't or couldn't. Technology advances over time and now we move on to the next contender to be criticised both positively and negatively.

    Flash...I salute you!

  • Aji

    Steve Jobs or Apple have nothing to do with the "death" of Flash on mobile phones. Like the article mentioned, they had sack some employees and that's that.

    Flash is great and it does work great on our Android phones but you guys can't deny that it's a memory/battery hog. Despite this flaw, it's still better than anything around at this moment in time and HTML5 is not really at its peak yet. Flash won't just die because Adobe will stop developing it, it will simply not be improved anymore. Bug fixes and patches are just for security purposes and that's about it. I would say that more than 98% of the websites out there support Flash and they won't just vanish in thin air.

    Also, maybe.....just maybe Google will buy that part of Adobe that develops Flash? Google will not let us down folks!