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Flash on Android is "shockingly bad"

updated 08:50 pm EDT, Tue August 31, 2010

Software still appears to be problematic

While many Android users await the official Flash 10.1 release for their smartphones, tests of the only final version, limited to the Nexus One, suggest the player is still problematic when attempting to load and play videos. A GigaOM video shows Flash running on a Nexus One outfitted with Android 2.2. Most videos failed to load, while others were extremely choppy.

The overall experience was described by the host as "shockingly bad," despite a Wi-Fi connection to 25Mbps FiOS broadband. Attempts to play videos on ABC's mobile site encountered error messages and freeze, while a Bones episode, described as "more like a slideshow," provided a notification that the video was not optimized for mobile.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs had been vocal regarding the reasons for omitting Flash from the iPhone and iPad. The executive claimed the software would make the mobile devices unstable, while Adobe was accused of repeatedly delaying the mobile release and never verifying that it could run properly.

Adobe had originally suggested mobile Flash would arrive early in 2009, however it still remains in beta development for many Android 2.2-based handsets. It is unclear if the reliability issues will be resolved in future updates.

by MacNN Staff



  1. lkrupp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Doesn't matter...

    It doesn't matter how bad Flash is on Android. It will still be used to bludgeon iOS. Just like Mac users tend to overlook or minimize deficiencies in Apple's offerings the Android crowd will be hyping this up to no end. It just doesn't matter.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What's odd is that so many Android fanbois

    swear that Flash runs "just fine" or "smooth as silk" on their particular smartphones. Maybe it does, but I'd think there'd be a lot of risky variables involved especially if their smartphones happened to be low on memory. I'd really like to see some extensive reviews on a few different smartphones tested on various sites. I'm surprised that some videos would run as slow as "slideshows". One site isn't all that conclusive.

    I don't think average consumers should have to put up with that sort of nonsense. I don't see how Adobe believes it could get away with promising a great Flash experience and then delivering some marginal product. The mobile tide could turn against Adobe rather quickly. Well, there are some smartphones that will be running faster than 1GHz processors and maybe they'll have no problem with Flash except for short battery life problems since those processors will likely have to run flat out for smooth-running movies.

  1. chas_m




    Even I am starting to get tired of how right Steve Jobs is all the time.

    Wait, no I'm not.


  1. dozx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I hope you are all happy now.....

    Now can we please move past trying to get that c*** working on a mobile device? I hate to say Steve told you so, but, "Steve told you so!" The world will be a much better place when flash is gone. I liken Flash to the floppy drive of old, it use to be great, a fundamental part of computing, then Apple introduces a computer with no floppy drive. The world thinks Apple is crazy, how can they release a computer with no floppy drive?!?!?!? Simple, with the rise of newer better ways to move files from place to place it was no longer necessary, however no one ever told the people using computers they didn't need floppies anymore. Just as the floppy has passed so will Flash.

    R.I.P. Flash

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Eric

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2010


    How bad is "Shockingly Bad"?

    I wouldn't call it "shockingly bad". Flash video could use some improvement, but sites look great with all the flash content loaded. Also, with phones now starting to use "n" wifi, i bet the speed would be a lot better as well. Android is also getting ready to release new dual core processing phones which would help a ton too. A lot of people seem to think if it isn't good now, its never going to get better. With android working on flash for phones, it closes the gap more and more between phones and computers. Oh yeah, and anyone who honestly thinks flash is dead, maybe should take a look at how much is on the average site, including this one.

  1. dozx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No, Flash isn't dead.......

    but, it is dying. unfortunately for Flash once Adobe got their horrible little fingers on it, it has become a horrible mess. It got more and more bloated over the years and has had less and less fundamental change that it needs desperately to keep it stable. This is why newer things (such as HTML 5) will eventually over take it. Change is afoot all over the web, some of the biggest sites on the web are are offering their content in both Flash and HTML 5, for what these sites consider a transitional phase to ease people into new things. Everyone hates change but trust me this will be a good change.

  1. B9bot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How can choppy flash bludgeon anything?

    Flash is a joke, and on mobile devices it is total c***!! Steve Jobs was right and HTML 5 will take over flash. IOS will live on and anything said by the android people about how flash is somehow better will get laughed at as the biggest joke ever.
    People aren't stupid, this is a good example of why people don't need flash or would even want it when it can't perform at all.
    Flash isn't dead, but everyday HTML 5 is now taking over for a job that flash can't handle anymore.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Eric

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2010


    I see everyone's points

    But as of today, flash is still the standard. And I think people would rather have the OPTION to choose or not choose flash, even if its still experimental in some cases, but that's just me. I also know that a lot of people would just rather blindly follow Steve Jobs, so I guess you could call it a preference.

  1. Elektrix

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is exactly right....

    I'm a former iPhone user who switched to an Android-based EVO 4G (no complaints about the iPhone itself, just not happy with the phone performance). I have been running Flash 10.1 under Android 2.2 with it, and can confirm this. Every flash video I've tried to play is choppy, as are Flash ads, etc. I leave Flash turned off, and only enable it manually when necessary - but most things that use Flash just doesn't really work that well - navigation becomes sluggish, interacting with the Flash content is a pain, etc.

    I do find it hard to believe when I hear people describing Flash, even with 10.1, on Android as a "great experience". At best it seems serviceable (moderately choppy video, Flash-based content that actually sort of works, etc.), but it's not ideal.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Matt

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2010


    Flash works fairly well, not shockingly bad...

    It's not perfect but my Evo does a good job displaying 90% of the flash content I've pulled up (including the super-heavy

    There is room for improvement but it does run better than some of the HTML5 demos I've seen on iOS devices. Here's an example:

    Now THAT is a shockingly bad experience.

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