Addressing reports published earlier today in regards to the future of Flash Mobile on Android (or a lack thereof), Adobe announced that the version slated for Android 4.0 aka "Ice Cream Sandwich" will be the last for this specific platform. Consumers should expect to see Flash Player for Android 4.0 by the end of the year.
Consumers who purchased the just-released Galaxy Nexus sporting Google's new version of Android saw that it came packed with absolutely no Flash support whatsoever - Flash Player didn't come pre-installed and it's currently not listed for Android 4.0 on the Android Market. With Adobe revealing the discontinuation of Flash earlier this month, it was believed that Flash support concluded with Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" for smartphones and Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" for tablets.
But according to Adobe, there's still another wave -- and a final wave at that -- of Adobe Flash for mobile. "Adobe will release one more version of the Flash Player for mobile browsing, which will provide support for Android 4.0, and one more release of the Flash Linux Porting Kit – both expected to be released before the end of this year” a company spokesperson confirmed.
Beyond that, Adobe will provide "critical bug fixes and security updates" as the company shifts over to HTML5 development. Earlier this month Adobe seemingly expressed defeat in the mobile sector, admitting that HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases even exclusively.
"This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms," Winokur said. "We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers."
RIM previously stated that it will continue Flash Player development for the PlayBook tablet. Google on the other hand will likely follow its current path down the HTML5 development road and eventually phase out Flash support in Android altogether. Unfortunately, the internet is still saturated with Flash content, so it may be a long while before Android's web browser can surf without requiring the memory-hogging Flash Player app.
Which now leads us to this question: why isn't Android's stock browser a smaller version of Chrome?