Install Flash on an Android smartphone or tablet

Adobe may have ended support for Flash in Android Jelly Bean and later, there are still many sites that use it. Here we show you how to work around the problem and still add Flash to Android, including Android Lollipop.

For people who use a Jelly Bean, KitKat or Lollipop smartphone or tablet, and who want to be able to use Flash content such as online games and video, it is a big problem that the support of Flash on Android has been discontinued.

While web developers are slowly moving to HTML5, we're not convinced that users are really ready for a Flash-free world yet. If you have a Nexus 7, Nexus 10, or any other smartphone or tablet running Android Jelly Bean, KitKat, or Lollipop, you may have noticed by now that many of the things you wanted the device for - watching online videos and playing games - just don't work. In many cases there are apps available that add the functionality, but do you really want to install a separate app for every Flash site or service you use? Or do you turn your dusty old PC back on just to watch an episode of your favorite series? It is not useful.

We don't even want to think about the Flash problem: we want to keep doing what we want, when we want, in our browser without constantly switching between apps to find a solution that works. Things like this should work seamlessly.

The good news is - although Android Jelly Bean, KitKat, and Lollipop don't officially support Flash - it's very easy to add Flash support to the operating system. Here we show some simple tweaks that allow you to use television, online video and Flash games on a Google Nexus 10 or any other tablet running Android Jelly Bean or Android KitKat.

Add Flash

The following steps explain how to add Adobe Flash to Android KitKat. Mind you, we haven't been able to get it to work with Android Lollipop on our Nexus 5 - even though the file is installed, the Dolphin browser refuses to load web pages. If you want to be able to watch Flash video in Lollipop you will have to install Puffin (see below) until there is another detour.

The first step for adding Flash to Android KitKat is it Settings open menu, scroll down to Security, and check the box to allow installation of apps of unknown origin. Don't forget to turn it off again after following our guide.

Next you will need the Flash installation file, courtesy of surviveland from the xda-developers forum. However, Google has blocked the download from the original path, so to save you 50 pages of forum threads, download the Flash installer for Android KitKat here. It is offered as a Dropbox download, so click on it to save the file to your Dropbox folder or download it to your Android KitKat phone or tablet. We have chosen the latter.

Drag down the notification bar at the top of the screen and tap the notification that the Flash Player file has been downloaded. In the window that appears, press install, and then Done.

To enable Flash playback in Android KitKat you need the Dolphin browser - available for free from Google Play. Once downloaded and installed, open it Settings browser menu, make sure Dolphin Jetpack is enabled, scroll down and select Web Content. In the next window search for Flash Player and make sure it is set as Always On.

Flash will now run fine within the Dolphin browser on your Android KitKat phone or tablet.

If you'd rather not install unsupported software on your Android KitKat phone or tablet, see the section below for instructions on how to run the Puffin browser. Alternatively, if your phone or tablet is running on Jelly Bean, scroll further down for instructions on how to add Flash support.

A Quick Fix: Add Flash to Android Lollipop, KitKat, and Jelly Bean

One of the simplest ways to add Flash to Android is to install the Puffin browser. Puffin builds in Flash support, so all you need to do is install the browser from Google Play. We tested Puffin in Android Jelly Bean, KitKat and Lollipop.

You don't have to use Puffin as your primary browser, but you may soon love it - not only is it super fast, it also has some nice features, such as a virtual trackpad and a gamepad that lets you keyboard functions to the on-screen controls.

However, there are a few caveats. First, the Flash support within the browser is only a 14-day trial, and if you want to continue using it you will need to purchase the full version of the app. In addition, Puffin's servers are located in the US, which means there are restrictions on certain region-specific content. We recommend using the free trial first to see if it causes any problems with the content you want to watch.

If your Puffin browser doesn't meet your needs, read on for a slightly more complicated but efficient solution for adding Flash to Android.

Add Flash to Android Jelly Bean

Step 1. You will need to download a number of free apps to get Flash to work on your Jelly Bean tablet, including Flash Player itself. But since it's not supported on your tablet, you'll have to search elsewhere than Google Play. Search online for "android flash player apk" or visit this forum thread from XDA Developers, where user stempox offers a download link.

Step 2. Before you can install Flash Player, you need to set up Android to install software of unknown origin (don't forget to disable this option after installation). Open it Settings menu, scroll down and press Security. Check the box for Unknown source. Allow installation of apps from sources other than the Play Store.

Step 3. Now find your downloaded Flash Player and press it to start the installation. If your download notification is gone, you'll need to use a free file browser app like Android File Manager to find the file (it's not visible in Android's Downloads folder).

Step 4. Next, you need a browser that can support the Flash Player plug-in, such as Mozilla Firefox. Download Firefox from Google Play and open the browser. Tap the three horizontal stripes at the top right of the browser window and choose Settings. below content, choose Plugins. For a seamless Flash experience, we recommend using the Enabled option instead of the Tap to play option.

Step 5. At this point you can interact with Flash content on your tablet within the Firefox browser on any website. However, some websites may recognize that you are using a mobile browser on a Jelly Bean device and hide the Flash content. And with ITV Player, for example, we could only view portrait mode in videos.

Phony is a free Firefox add-on that makes websites believe you are using a desktop browser. You can access Firefox's add-ons from the browser's home screen, or you can Add-ons in the menu at the top right of the screen and press the shopping basket. If you have installed Phony, press the menu right at the top, and choose phony. Then select Desktop Firefox if you User Agent and press OK.

Recent Posts