Today marks the first day of a world without Flash for Android users. If this day crept up on you like it did me, you’re going to want to read this about how to get it on your device from here on out.
Adobe announced back in June that it would no longer support Flash for Android devices, which meant that going forward you’d face a cold world without Flash for your shiny new devices.
Adobe said in a blog post that it wouldn’t take Flash Player beyond Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and added that it would limit future installations of Flash Player to certified, tested and approved devices via Google Play.
If you had a version of Android that worked with Flash Player and upgraded it to Android 4.1 and beyond, Adobe will essentially write you off.
Don’t worry, you read correctly. Adobe is saying that for Flash Player to continue working as it should, it advises not updating your core operating system. If you do update Android — as you rightfully should — you’re encouraged to uninstall Flash Player, as it might start misbehaving on your device.
Flash will still exist on the Google Play store, but if you’re rocking something that isn’t on Adobe’s approved devices list, you’re out of luck for an install. It’s a lengthy list, but that’s not the point. The point is that the only way you’ll get Flash in future is by sideloading the app.
Sideloading basically describes the process of installing applications that you’ve sourced from outside of the Google Play store. It’s one of Android’s great features: the fact that you can go and get any app you like, even if it’s not distributed through an overarching app store and install it. It’s the antithesis of Apple’s walled iOS platform.
Sideloading sounds great, but it isn’t without issue. There are a lot of risks when it comes to sideloading, especially when you’re trawling around the seedier parts of the internet looking for things to install on your device. It’s worth mentioning that you should only ever install apps from sources you trust and to keep your head about you when looking around for new apps.
Installing an untrusted app can open you up to a whole world of malware-like hurt on your device. It’s easy enough to dress up a malicious app as a friendly one, and before you know it, the app you thought was your friend has taken you down a proverbial alley to kick the hell out of you and steal all your details. You’ve been warned.
Also, don’t pirate apps you find by looking for free versions online. That’s a real douche move.
So, where’s a good place to get an a version of Flash you can sideload? Well, Adobe actually hosts versions of Flash Player on its website right back to Flash Player 10.1 for Android. Don’t count on those being there forever though.
Another great source is the strong and helpful community over at the XDA Forums. XDA hosts a community of developers and Android enthusiasts who all want to do awesome things with Android.
Right now, this thread is where you want to be to get the Flash Player .apk, but like Adobe’s own page, it’s not going to be there forever.
Vale Flash Player.