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Web person at the Imperial War Museum, just completed PhD about digital sustainability in museums (the original motivation for this blog was as my research diary). Posting occasionally, and usually museum tech stuff but prone to stray. I welcome comments if you want to take anything further. These are my opinions and should not be attributed to my employer or anyone else (unless they thought of them too). Twitter: @jottevanger

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Flash 10.2 on Android phones with ARM: partial success

Imagine my disappointment and annoyance and slight feeling of miss-selling* when I discovered that my otherwise lovely new Android phone (a Samsung Galaxy Ace / S5830) couldn't install Adobe FlashPlayer. OK, it's a low-end device but that's lame. Word is that the ARM chip is less powerful than Adobe would like. However rumour also has it that it's perfectly powerful enough for the job. And without Flash, there's no iPlayer and no embedded YouTube (I can use the YT app that's pre-installed, but not watch videos embedded with the Flash player).

So when I tried to install Flash from the Android marketplace and was told I couldn't I did a little looking round and found that some very useful people had hacked the 10.2 version of the official player to make it installable on devices with slower chips. I was a little nervous, of course, about putting an unsourced app on, but although I might have unwittingly installed some well-disguised malware so far there's no sign of that. My success is only partial, however, because iPlayer is still unhappy and wants me to go to the marketplace to download again. I understood it only needed Flash 9 but perhaps it's using some other way to tell that it's not happy with my phone (presumably based on what plugin the browser is reporting). Embedded YouTube clips work now, but videos from our own collections at IWM don't work :-(

So I'm still rather peeved that the limitations of the phone were not made clear, and also that as users we are aren't even offered the choice of installing the official FlashPlayer, performance reservations notwithstanding. After all, I can see that the hacked version does work perfectly well on those sites that don't whinge about it, so chip speed evidently isn't a deal-breaker.

In any case, if you want to have a go with it, check it out here:


I could have linked straight to the APK but that seems a little rude given that you're getting something for nowt so you do have to go through a couple of screens of adverts; keep going!

*to be honest, not just a feeling of miss-selling but of stupidity, having forgotten caveat emptor and done sod all research before going into the 3 shop. I leapt at the chance to upgrade considerably for no extra cash, and I wouldn't have paid much more anyway.

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