On August 15, Adobe will no longer offer Flash for Android through the Google Play store. Any Android device that does not already have Flash will be unable to download it any longer. It is the end of a very long, difficult road for Adobe as it cedes video on mobile browsers to HTML5.
Come tomorrow, if you do not already have Flash on your Android smartphone, you will not be able to get it. Adobe has planned to put Flash for Android to rest since fall 2011. The company announced on June 28th that it would un-publish Flash from Google Play on August 15.
Tomorrow will not bring the complete end of Flash support on Android devices. Existing Flash for Android users will continue to receive security updates, but that is the extent to which Adobe will continue to support the plug-in.
Adobe announced last year that mobile Flash would no longer be supported on Android beyond version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Now that Google has released Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, mobile Flash has reached the end of the road. Yet it will take a while to completely root out Flash on Android as it will persist on Android versions 2.1 Éclair through 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. As of the beginning of August, 98.5% of Android users fell within that range, and 60.6% still used version 2.3 Gingerbread. Flash will be weeded out of the Android ecosystem as more smartphones and tablets receive 4.1 Jelly Bean either through updates or pre-installed.
Adobe provides a list of devices in which mobile Flash will continue to work if it has been installed by August 15. Most devices run the Android operating system, but the BlackBerry PlayBook supports versions of mobile Flash.
Microsoft has stated that it will have limited Flash support in its Windows 8 tablets via Internet Explorer 10.
The death of mobile Flash follows the rise of HTML5, an open stack of technologies intended to serve as cross-platform standards for media integration on the Internet. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously rejected Flash on iOS devices in favor of HTML5. Android adopted Flash, but the plug-in proved to be problematic, and users often complained of glitchy performance.
Some core Flash technologies will live on in other Adobe products on mobile devices, such as AIR. Some developers use AIR to create media-driven mobile apps, mostly games. Flash as a ubiquitous video standard on the mobile Web will cease to exist, while AIR will live on as a rendering engine in applications built with Adobe.