As of August 15, Android users could no longer download Flash from the Google Play store. But what does that mean for Android users who already have Flash installed? Those users will be able to keep and use Flash on their mobile devices, however the only updates they will receive will be security updates.
As an Android user myself, when choosing my device, Flash support seemed to be a key feature. Although looking back, I don’t think it ever came in handy. I recall when trying to use it, it slowed down my phone and often would just stop working all together.
Why did Flash fail? The simple answer to the question is HTML5 and CSS3 (and maybe Steve Jobs). HTML5 gained popularity in 2011 among the web developer community. The new features it provided made it easier to develop websites that could be viewed on your desktop or mobile device. CSS3 also lets you build “Flash-like” animations that function of mobile devices.
Flash based websites have never been friendly to mobile devices (even Android). However, they did have the ability to make a site look really cool on your desktop computer. With the introduction of the iPhone and iPad, the Flash developers were nervous. I remember thinking to myself, “Adobe is so closely tied to Apple, why wouldn’t Steve jobs allow it function on the iPad.” He probably knew that Flash would do more harm than good on his mobile devices.
I don’t think that the end of Flash on Android devices will have much of an impact. I know here at Design the Planet we build our websites with the latest and greatest web technologies. We test each site on mobile devices to make sure everything looks and functions properly.