It’s a day after the great expected removal of the Flash Player from the Google Play store. At the time of this article’s writing, the app is still available, though it may be so through delays between removal requests and Google taking action on it. Once it’s gone, how will you experience Flash on your Android device?
It’s simple, you won’t. Adobe has announced its plans to evolve Flash into a product for gamers and protected video distributors. Console-quality gaming is possible through Flash, but this potential typically requires the type of hardware found on full-featured desktop or laptop computers.
Adobe’s Flash Player has never been the most light or optimized interface for users, and when Adobe laid out its five to 10 year plan for the platform, it indirectly acknowledged this fact.
Perhaps Adobe was stretching its Flash department too thin? Mobile operating systems have been designed to utilize Flash alternatives, leaving Flash as an optional third-party add-on rather than some baked-in standard used by the device’s software. Apple refused to allow Flash to function on its mobile platform, and Android (while having gained early popularly due to its support of Flash) has also natively supported newer Web standards for delivering interactive content, as well.
Adobe abandoned its mobile Flash platform for a reason, and a big part of that reason is because the Internet evolved past the need of a bulky plug-in. Sites like YouTube that rely heavily on a client’s ability to download and play video content switched to an H.264 video standard for mobile users some time ago.
Apps are also a competitor for Flash. Why would you utilize a Web-based interface hosted through Flash when you can download an app that does more with less? Apps allow developers to create interfaces and tools which run smoothly and are optimized for the screen’s native resolution. Vector graphics, universal binaries, and other factors which change how things work between a tablet and a phone are just a few of the advantages to using an app over something as stubborn and inflexible as Flash.
This is a similar situation to that faced by RealPlayer back in the early 2000s. RealPlayer was once the standard for all video and audio playback on the Web. If you wanted to embed media (or watch embedded media) on a website, you almost had to have RealPlayer installed. The Internet eventually evolved past it and RealPlayer (while still available) was left behind.
Where can you get Flash for Android? I’ll answer that question with a question. Why would you want it? Please leave a creative comment below letting us know your feelings about Flash actually being taken away from the Google Play store. Do you know of some alternatives that could keep it alive?
Image: Flash Logo