The bells tolling the death of Adobe Flash got a bit louder this week.
To go along with the arrival of Google’s new Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” update, Adobe has announced that it will not be developing a certified version of Flash for Android 4.1. Worse for Flash fans, Adobe says it will soon be pulling Flash Player from the Google Play Store.
The move shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Adobe already announced last year that it would cease development of its mobile Flash Player. Still, if you were hoping Google might give Flash a bit of a reprieve by including support in the latest version of Android, well, we’ve got bad news for you.
Beginning Aug. 15, Adobe plans to start limiting access to Flash in the Google Play Store to mobile devices that already have Flash installed. In other words, if your Android phone shipped with Flash installed — what Adobe refers to as a “certified version” of mobile Flash — then you can keep getting updates through the Google Play Store. If you’re planning to buy a new phone running Android 4.1, you won’t be installing Flash after the fact.
The reasoning behind the move is that any devices that don’t have Flash Player installed out of the box are, in Adobe’s words, “increasingly likely to be incompatible with Flash Player and will no longer be able to install it from the Google Play Store.”
There is a way around the new limitations if you’re a developer who needs access to Flash (or, presumably, a user who doesn’t mind hacking your phone): Flash Player for Android will remain available in Adobe’s archive of released Flash Player versions. Also, little birds flying around Google I/O this week tell us that the Flash plugin actually does seem to work with Android 4.1. If you’d like to try it for yourself, better hurry up and grab it while you can.