One of the strong points Android devices have over iOS is the support for Adobe Flash. Apple didn’t support Flash in iOS and it doesn’t plan on doing so in the near future. Adobe was pretty mad at Apple a few years ago because of this, but in time they did realise Flash is the past, not the futures, so with the introduction of Google Nexus 7 tablet and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean the official support for Adobe Flash has stopped.

    This leaves a significant number of users in the dark when it comes to sites that are not yet converted to HTML 5 and still use Flash either to embed videos from sites like Youtube, or use Flash navigation elements (menus, buttons and such). Apparently there’s a workaround to re-enable Adobe Flash support on Android 4.1 Jelly bean (Google Nexus 7 for now), as the guys at XDA Developers have discovered.

    How to install Flash on Jelly Bean

    I strongly suggest you don’t try this if you don’t know what you’re doing. The links from XDA Developers should guide you through the entire process, but make sure you backup your device ROM first. Two things need to be downloaded: the apk file of the Flash plugin (the install kit, if you want to make a reference to Windows) and the one for the Browser, as it was replaced with Chrome in Android 4.1 on the Nexus 7. Some Jelly Bean smartphones from the Nexus series still have the old Android Browser installed, as a secondary option.

    Once you get these files you need to root your device, copy the files at their designated place, modify access permissions, run the Browser and enable plugins: Browser -> Options -> Settings -> Advanced -> Enable Plug-ins and select On Demand or Always On. That’s it! Some users say Flash will work with other apps that allow plugins to be loaded, but for now the entire process is pretty experimental, so I can’t stress enough that you have to pay attention to what you’re doing if you don’t want to mess up your device (small chances to do that, but it can still happen).

    Tweaking Flash loading options in Browser

    Tweaking Flash loading options in Browser

    Note: As I’ve demonstrated in this guide you can speed up the default Android browser significantly by turning off the options to use plugins (like Flash), or setting things up so that they’re loaded on demand, when you tap on the in-page place-holders that let you know a plugin is required to display a certain area of the webpage. Personally I prefer to have Flash installed and load it on demand, when I really need to see some website that’s not yet optimized for HTML 5. That’s why I’ve told you about this workaround.