Ice Cream Sandwich's curious lack of Flash

Posted by Mark Raby

Google's Ice Cream Sandwich is bringing a new flavor to Android, but it's missing one of the operating system's most differentiating toppings.

The latest version of Google's mobile platform, also known as Android 4.0, does not include support for Flash, the once universal standard for Web design that has been pushed aside in favor of a more developer-friendly HTML5.

The issue is not with Google, but with Flash's creator, Adobe. Adobe has buckled to the pressure of its competitor and decided to end all support for Flash on mobile devices.

In a statement, Google attributed the lack of support to Adobe, saying, "Flash hasn’t been released for ICS yet so as far as we know." However, the company went on to confirm that "Adobe will [eventually] support Flash for ICS."

The inclusion of Flash is one of the things that has set Android apart from its competitors, and became a major talking point for Google and its manufacturing partners.

But the iPhone and iPad have been incredibly powerful in shaping the mobile landscape, and their dependence on HTML5 has caused the entire industry to shift. For Adobe, investing money in the mobile market has become, quite simply, not worth it.

There's no word yet on when Flash will make its way to Ice Cream Sandwich, but it is very likely this version of Android will be the last one to get support for the platform at all.