Adobe Flash Player still works on Android 4.1 and the Nexus 7

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With the release of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, many features were added to the OS, but at least one was removed. That was Adobe Flash Player compatibility, which has been a selling point of Android since it was added to version 2.2 Froyo. However, with the move to HTML5 for web video and Chrome (which doesn’t support plugins like flash) as the default browser, the feature was no longer needed. Still, it looks like it wasn’t quite removed completely, as it turns out that it is still possible to watch Flash Player content on Jelly Bean devices like the Nexus 7. Google just isn’t supporting Flash with the stock browser or advertising it, but you can still use Flash if you want to.

In fact, it is fairly easy to re-enable Flash Player even on Jelly Bean. All that you have to do is take the app’s .apk file (which can be found at XDA), transfer it to your device, and install it as you would any other non-market app. Then, you can go into the stock Android browser (which still comes with the Galaxy Nexus version of Jelly Bean) and enable plugins, and it will work. It should also be possible to use third-party browsers like Dolphin, but this hasn’t been tested as well. Obviously, this won’t work on the Nexus 7 because the stock Android browser is now Chrome. Fortunately though, you can also sideload it onto the Nexus 7 just fine, using the .apk also found through the XDA source link.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Flash and am hoping for a quick transition to HTML5, but it is still nice to have the feature available in case I need it. Just the other day, I was trying to watch a video on a news site and couldn’t because I had updated to Jelly Bean. While I completely understand Google’s motivation to switch everyone to HTML5, it simply doesn’t make sense to take away a feature that people might still need, especially when it clearly still works fine. As I said, I’m no proponent of Flash, but until all web video is HTML5, it is nice to know that I can still access Flash content, even with Jelly Bean.

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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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