Flash is coming to Ice Cream Sandwich

Flash fly lands in ice cream at Android 4.0 launch, but Google is apparently on the case
Darren Allan

November 23, 2011
Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Google’s new version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, has been unleashed along with flagship handset the Nexus Galaxy.

But while Google has certainly been crowing about all the new features Android 4.0 and Samsung’s Nexus Galaxy bring forth, there’s one small matter that wasn’t mentioned amongst all the launch hype.

Namely that Ice Cream Sandwich doesn’t come with Flash on board – not at launch, anyway.

Despite the fact that one of the selling points of Android devices has been Flash support, as opposed to Apple’s closed stance and rejection of Adobe’s application on the iOS platform.

Flash doesn’t come on the Galaxy Nexus, a Slashgear article pointed out, and you can’t download it for Android 4.0 currently, either.

And with the recent announcement that Adobe is abandoning the development of Flash for mobile, you might think that this adds up to distinct trouble for the plug-in on Android.

Not so, Slashgear says, as they quote a Google statement insisting that Flash will be updated to be compatible with Ice Cream Sandwich.

Apparently Google stated: “Flash hasn’t been released for ICS yet so as far as we know, Adobe will support Flash for ICS.”

Note the use of the words “so far as we know”, however, which isn’t the most comforting or precise of phrases for Flash-loving Android 4.0 owners to be reading.

Although if it comes to it, Google could always work out a deal with Adobe whereby they can continue to develop it for their mobile platform themselves, as Rim has done.

We’re sure Ice Cream Sandwich munchers won’t be left in the lurch, but it’s slightly embarrassing for Google to have such an issue at launch, and bad timing for them on the Adobe Flash for mobile announcement.

Particularly when Ice Cream Sandwich was supposed to be the big solution to all the fragmentation issues which have given Android haters plenty of ammunition over the last year or so.

Ultimately the web – and Adobe – is moving towards using HTML5, but it’s still too early in its development for it to be poised to take over from Flash, which is still extensively used across the web. So Google will certainly need to come up with a firm solution sooner rather than later.


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