Flash on Chrome

So we've finally got a Chrome browser on Android. Huzzah. But it's missing Adobe Flash support. Uh, not huzzah. That is, for some. While Flash is going the way of the dinosaur -- an extremely slow-moving, refuses-to-die dinosaur -- being phased out it is. And for that reason, says Adobe, the new Chrome browser for Android doesn't support it. (And let's face it -- while Flash may have an expiration date, nobody actually knows what it is.)

So is that a deal-breaker for you? Will you stick with the (current) stock Android browser, or a third-party browser, to get you through the interim? 

 
There are 59 comments

gtab55 says:

Im not learning HTML5 for nothing...

Epiksol says:

Then you will soon be extinct my friend...

dman977#AC says:

His double negative implies that he actually is learning HTML5. He is learning HTML5 for reasons such as these.

Epiksol says:

Man, I totally read that wrong. A bit misleading, but thanks for the clarification.

timberga says:

Phil, I think you do a great job with the site, but please, for the love of everything good, don't follow in the steps of your sister site iMore.....the more slanted you sound towards your platform of choice, the less legit you appear.

Flash is going away, but it's still HUGE on the internet. Deal breaker, no. Disappointing, slightly.

Which is why I was essentially defending BlackBerry this morning?

I think you're missing something here. Flash isn't going anywhere anytime soon. It's everywhere -- including this site. But when the company that makes it starts phasing it out, it's a dinosaur. Clock's ticking.

How ironic. You brought up Blackberry for a totally different reason, yet I can see many similarities presently between Flash and Blackberry....

JeffDenver says:

If Flash isn't going anywhere anytime soon, why advocate a lack of support in it for browsers? Why deny people access to content that is "everywhere"?

When Flash finally drops off the face of the earth (or maybe we should say "if"?), THAT would be the time to start advocating that browsers stop supporting it. But as long as it is still widely used, I think browser need to have it, at least as an option.

jtwebfusion says:

I completely agree. Until every site has an html5 version, the browsers need to support flash. It would be understandable if they released it for non ICS devices, then you would have google bookmarks support, but ICS only. The stock ICS browser already has google bookmarks support. What's the point?

Channan says:

I'm a bit disappointed about no Flash, but it's far from a deal-breaker. It wasn't a deal-breaker when I bought the iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4. It's not a deal-breaker now. I've never really cared for Android's stock browser. ICS rendered pages retarded. Chrome is so much better that it's easy to overlook the lack of Flash.

And since Flash still works in the stock browser, I can switch to that at any time. So it really is a non-issue.

mickmel says:

This. I rarely use Flash, but it's nice to have on occasion. As long as I can get it in the stock browser in a pinch, I have no problem with Chrome not having it.

fage88 says:

Deal breaker for me defiantly. I still use a lot of sites that use flash so I will stick with dolphin until HTML 5 has finished taking over the internet

Shadowriver says:

Google didn't said they getting rid of stack browser yet :p

dswatson83 says:

I'm with you. There are still tons of high traffic sites using flash...and until that changes, I want access to it. I don't think it will be this way forever but the change will be slow. I'm thinking high traffic sites will still use flash for the next year or two

Unibrow says:

The biggest reason I never got an iPhone was because of NO FLASH. Now, let me just say that I actually DETEST flash and I think it's pure crap but the FACT of the matter is that RIGHT now if you don't have flash you have an incomplete web browsing experience. To some it might not matter but personally I wouldn't waste my time.

As of right now, for me, it's a non issue as far as Chrome goes anyway because I'm running an Epic Touch and that doesn't have 4.0 yet anyway.

Android is all about choice and I think it's a terrible move to move away from flash and not support it. What should happen is web sites and such should move away from flash and I think that will happen especially if HTML5 is going to be the better option. Right now, a lot of sites don't use html5 because it's just not ready yet.

TLDR version: I don't want a half assed half baked web browsing experience so I won't be moving to a web browser that doesn't support basic web site functions such as viewing flash content.

Shadowriver says:

Look on other site, it might force site developer to switch to HTML5, some site already did that for iOS. Not to mention Adobe drop mobile Flash so i guess it's just matter of time

Channan says:

"Android is all about choice and I think it's a terrible move to move away from flash and not support it."

You do know it isn't Google not supporting it, right? Adobe is no longer developing Flash for mobile devices.

Unibrow says:

I am fully aware that flash is moving away from mobile and it's being abandoned, there's still NO reason at all why Google's browser couldn't support a dying plugin until it's phased out. Like I said, I don't really like flash at all and personally think it's crap but you can't ignore it's continued dominance on the web. I don't want to dodge sites because they don't have html5 video, I just won't use their browser.

Shaides says:

What is so negative about flash in your opinion? I don't have one complaint about flash. Maybe there is something in the dark I don't see that you can shine light on. If so let me know because I'm kinda tired of being frustrated with people thinking negative about flash when I'm so unaware of the problems . I did have my complaints when I had a single core processor, but once I acquired a dual core phone all issues got tornado pulled out the window. SOMEBODY.. help me out here..

Shadowriver says:

It might be lack of plug-in support in that Chrome thats why it's lacking flash, who knows they may introduce new plug-in system where dev can make there own, since flash is not only html plug-in in existance

steve19137 says:

I wiped my EVO this last weekend for some maintenance and I haven't installed Flash or AIR yet. I don't think I will. I barely do anything browser based on my phone except the occasional link from Twitter. If it requires Flash, I favorite the tweet to read again later on my desktop. I never understood why people found it to be necessary. It's not on the iPhone, how many of those users complain about no Flash? I know I didn't.

Shaides says:

When you use your phone and tablet for 100% of your internet access and 9/9 of your favorite sites use flash, it is very necessary. For me browsing the web without flash is like having a girl without any orifices.

zorak950 says:

Nothing would make me happier than to see HTML5 be more widely adopted. But in the meantime it's nice to be able to access Flash content on mobile.

KrispyKrink says:

Haven't used flash for the past 2 years, it's not missed here.

tim242 says:

No Flash is a huge deal for me. Love it, or hate it...I use it daily. I use my Nexus for most of my computing needs. Without it, I'd have an incomplete web experience.

I was also disappointed in the lack of simple features like no text reflow, no full screen, no default page zoom, and lack of options in general.

The syncing uses a ridiculous battery-eating background service. I recommend disabling that. The tabbing is nice, but I much prefer the stock ICS browser.

Rigelian says:

I'm not sure why this is such a big deal. It's not like the stock browser is suddenly going to disappear and no longer be available. In any event, a couple of months ago I changed the plug in option to on demand from always use. As a result, I learned that it was rarely worth it for me to use flash, because I almost never demanded it. When I wanted to use it, I just went one click further. So flash is not that big a deal for me, but it is an option that I want to have available.

The result is that Chrome Beta is now my default and the stock browser simply because an option when needed.

JeffDenver says:

The reason it is a big deal is because many of us would like to use Chrome exclusively. But so long as it is missing a critical tool, we cant.

I want to see the real web. I do not want to be locked in a closet like the iOS people are.

Commodus says:

But you are seeing the real web without Flash. iOS people are hardly trapped; if you'd use it, you'd know. HTML5 is a lot more common than you think. On the Galaxy Nexus, you wouldn't even really know Flash existed, you use it that seldomly.

Besides, Adobe decided to end mobile Flash... you have to get used to a standards-based web soon enough. Extending your dependence on a bad proprietary plugin isn't going to make it any easier.

JeffDenver says:

I have used it. No, HTML5 is not universal. Yes, iOS people are trapped in a closet...I have seen plenty of iOS people complain about not having Flash access.

Explain to me what the downside is (for ME personally) of having both Flash and HTML5. Explain to me why you think it is a bad thing for the end user to have that choice.

bk452 says:

I sure felt trapped as an I pad user. I bought an Android for work 4 months ago. I haven't used the iPad since. Without flash you're only getting part of the web. Take it from someone who used an iPad for 20 months.

tabatt13 says:

Flag is dead. Everyone complaining needs to realize this. It wasn't a choice made by Google but a decision made on the part of Adobe. The makers of flash have chosen to kill it and will soon be killing flash on desktops too. The sooner the better if you ask me. Flash is buggy and prone to exploits. The internet will be a better place without it.

tim242 says:

Flash is far from dead. As you can see from this poll, many of us need it. Until HTML5 is more widespread, FLASH IS VERY MUCH ALIVE.

Shadowriver says:

I don't it will kill Flash on desktop ever will be killed, Flash alone is good (practicly only good) vector animation creation tool, there too large community on flash games and aspecially animation in which Flash is better then HTML5 that gives you only raw rendering tool. Thru flash games are not much usable on mobile.

Adobe could create HTML5 output of Flash (Google already made convertion software)when standard will be more stable and mroe browser will support it, then i could see Flash die as HTML plug-in, but not as a creation software

bk452 says:

Adobe didn't kill flash. It says it will leave it up to someone else to be developed. So yes, it is Google's fault.

4freese says:

Lets face it, Flash has been around for a long time and I really do not see it going anywhere in the near future. It will take a while for it to be phased out.

I personally use a few different browsers. Mostly the stock for flash support and Chrome now for just browsing. I was using Maxthon and Dolphin Mini. Browsers are like keyboards, everyone has there own taste.

SteveIowa says:

The transition will be difficult for some. But what is the % of ICS unit's at the moment? Yes, very low. As those numbers build up, Flash dies. It really will be pretty seamless. Stock browser's are a nice work around in the interim. Let's get Chrome going now I say, we need to start. Oh, and Majel too! #Winning

Myria says:

Yes, yes it is.

DrDiff says:

I'm not on ICS… Thus not an issue for me…
Hey Google / Motorola… when are you gonna fix me not being on ICS?

adamf663 says:

I want a web browser that can render every site I visit. No flash for chrome? Then no chrome for me. When the last flash site is gone to something else, then having a browser lacking such functionality is reasonable. Otherwise, it is like having a car that can't drive into mall parking lots.

lightyear420 says:

chrome beta with no flash still runs better than firefox aurora with flash....so for now, it's my everyday browser. Thanks google!

tim242 says:

Doesn't run better than stock.ICS...

geeforce1 says:

Nope, I will be using both until a unified format is adopted.

The beauty of android is choice. The stock browser on ics is very good much better than that useless gingerbread browser. Even thou chrome doesn't support flash I am OK with that because my stock browser does so I am happy...

For a beta product this browser is pretty good. Flash not a deal breaker. I'm sure the performance will get even better. OMG I can actually use the spell check while typing this.

I do most of my browsing on my Xoom so flash is a must there, but for my nexus I feel comfortable trying out chrome and so far have been quite impressed with the speed. I can't help but feel excited knowing this is still in early beta and works as well as it does, i know it will only get better and better from here.

dimsdale says:

But without flash, how will I load 0-day exploits onto my device?

h0ruza#AC says:

Not supporting flash is going to bite the whole world in the ass. HTML 5 is not ready and I don't see its progression moving as fast or catching up with all of what flash has to offer. Don't get me wrong flash websites working on mobile as they are is a silly idea and lazy at best as everything on the web needs to scale and adapt depending on the device.

The issue I have is flash is soooooo much more that a means to animate images, vectors and video, its a visual platform with limitless applications and due to the greed of a great but dead man the whole world is making backward steps using a standard thats far from being a replacement for flash. Gaming, Cross platform App Development, New technology integration (Did anyone see that video of the light field camera @verge.com, watch and listen for the end) Microsoft Surface Application Development the list gives on.

Smart phones are becoming less smart everyday and that saddens me and should sadden every thinking tech geek too.

hmmm says:

Flash on a phone isn't a deal breaker for me. On a tablet it is. What is a deal breaker is no user agent setting. I also want a dedicated home button, an exit button, a forward button and an easy way to find text within a site. Chrome isn't there yet. Decent beta though.

Volvogga says:

I'm wondering if lack of flash is just because this is still beta.

Whatever the case, I still want Flash. I don't believe that everyone develops for the latest version of Flash, so I don't mind that mobile flash is "dead". It's still useful!

I can't believe how dogmatic people are about dropping Flash for HTML5. Yes, we should move away from Flash, but it shouldn't happen this quickly. We're talking about HTML5 here; an unfinished product that exists because people would not migrate to a superior product (XHTML) and wanted a feature update that wouldn't break their non-conforming but "it's working so it is good enough" crap code.

The world wasn't ready to give up their ugly code, and it's not ready to give up it's pretty, though often slow and clunky, Flash apps/videos/games.

Commodus says:

No, it's because Adobe is dropping mobile Flash. There will never be a version of mobile Chrome (or any future stock Android browser, for that matter) with Flash. Thankfully.

The problem with the "stop moving quickly!" argument is that this is what it takes to actually get things transitioned over. Most of the industry hates change: if you keep giving sites a crutch, they'll keep choosing Flash until it's clear they have to use HTML5 or die. Adobe cited Apple's conscious lack of Flash support as part of why it was dropping mobile efforts; if Apple had caved and given iOS users that inferior experience, do you think real standards like HTML5 would have much traction?

Very few Flash apps and games actually work well on touch, anyways. They're usually either designed for a mouse or don't scale well to the smaller screens.

tim242 says:

Adobe with not ever support this browser, nor will I.

stvo says:

HTML5 will never be able to replace Flash. The end.

mindfawk says:

Deal breaker for me. The only reason I chose to lean towards an Android based phone after finally giving up my blackberry instead of an iPhone was because Android supported flash. If they take that support away I would prefer to have an iPhone.

Commodus says:

Guess you're getting an iPhone, then... after Android 4.0, there's no more Flash compatibility updates, just maintenance.

obi5683 says:

I welcome our HTML5 overlords.

donovan1983 says:

Flash just plain sucks on the desktop and is even worse on mobile. On my desktop, with an Intel Core i7-2600K CPU and AMD Radeon 6870 GPU, I often get a slideshow with Flash and I constantly have to force-close the Flash plugin because it runs amok with my CPU cycles. All too often in Chrome I see the following banner at seemingly random times "The following plugin has crashed: Shockwave Flash". HTML5 video and Silverlight have no such issues. Flash on mobile is near unusable anyway because of many Flash apps being designed for a mouse-based system.

Now if Google would just add the MPEG4 codec back into Chrome (on the desktop and mobile versions) and Mozilla into Firefox, we'd have a realistic chance of HTML5 video really taking off as an alternative to Flash. The current patent situation means we can count on Flash sticking around for a long time to come.

doogald says:

The first thing that I do on a new browser is disable plugins. This just saves me a step when I get Chrome.

rockets95 says:

Flash on mobile has been a huge disappointment. I've used it a few times and the performance renders it almost useless on my Epic 4G. I've found switching the User Agent on Dolphin will allow me to watch most of the flash videos I'm looking for in the mp4 format. Here's hoping that more websites move to HTML5 and phase out Flash.

KrsWon says:

This is a BETA people. I don't think Google promised all features up front. Idk if chrome will ever get Flash, it seems some dev could make a Flash 11 plug-in, but you don't need to cry about it at this point. I think the real question should be about using Chrome if the future version lacks Flash support.
Also, I don't see it not getting Flash in the future, because YouTube vids rely heavily on it. And being a Google company, that would be like shooting yourself in the foot. I think the turning point will be once Google transfers YouTube to strictly HTML5.