June 29, 2012 at 3:06 PM ET
Adobe has announced that their widely-used Flash web plug-in won't be coming to Android 4.1, the new version of Google's mobile OS announced on Monday. It's not a surprise move — the company said it would be phasing the product out — but it will be disappointing for many Android users nevertheless.
The company originally said it would be focusing on the desktop for Flash development, and AIR for mobile apps. Now a hard date for ending mobile Flash support has been announced: August 15, after which time only Android 4.0 and earlier devices will be able to download and update Flash from Google's Play Store.
Existing devices and installs that have been certified by Adobe will continue to function and could even see updates, but they have not attempted to make a version for 4.1 and recommend uninstalling Flash if your phone gets updated to Jelly Bean, as it may "exhibit unpredictable behavior."
While some (certainly Adobe) see this as a necessary measure to move on to new standards and leave behind technologies not intended for mobile use, the cutoff comes at an awkward time. Many websites still use Flash for media delivery or navigation, and have yet to update to HTML5 and other, more future-oriented, standards. And many Android users will continue to use their phone or tablet to visit such sites. But it's only a matter of time before the web moves on.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for msnbc.com. His personal website is coldewey.cc.