Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Flash for Android is dead, dig up a copy from the graveyard

Yes, Flash is old, buggy, slow, and it sucks your battery dry. So is it a good thing that Adobe pulled Flash out of the Google Play Store?

Flash is also unavoidable because many websites still use it, and some will keep using Flash until the end of times.

For example, the typical bar and restaurant site requires Flash to read the menu and book a table. These sites will ditch Flash eventually, but it's gonna take a while.

Artists use lots of Flash. Paintings, photos, poetry, literature, without Flash your online culture choices are very limited. And because art sites live a lot longer than the artists who built them you're gonna need Flash for years to come.

Games? Movies? Not all of them will be converted to HTML5 or other formats, so you'll need an old Flash player to see what was hot when your grandparents were young.

But with Flash no longer available in the Play Store you'll have to get your fix of Flash somewhere else. Fortunately that's really easy.

Adobe maintains an archive of old Flash versions. It has all the Android installers too, so you can simply download the APK file, check the "unknown sources" box in Androids app settings screen, and hit install. Don't forget to set your Flash Player privacy and security settings.

If Adobe ever pulls the Android Flash installers from their site there are plenty of sites, forums, P2P networks and other sources to dig up a corpse copy of Flash.

Keep in mind that your web browser needs to support Flash for the plugin to work. Chrome doesn't, and Opera crashes when it bumps into Flash. Current versions of Dolphin Browser, Firefox for Android, and the stock browser up to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) support Flash, but new versions may break it so backup your browser before you update it.

Flash for Android on adobe.com

(if this link stops working, leave a comment or hit the contact link on the bottom of this page and I'll add other links)

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