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Ever since Adobe killed off support for mobile Flash Adobe Stops Development Of Flash Plugin For Mobile [News] Adobe Stops Development Of Flash Plugin For Mobile [News] In a surprising move (or not so surprising), Adobe is discontinuing its development of Flash plugin for mobile browsers. According to Adobe’s official announcement, they will now focus their efforts on HTML5 instead, as it... Read More , the medium has slowly been dying out, being replaced by HTML5. Unfortunately, the entire Web can’t just jump standards in a day, and every once in a while you’re going to run into a website that requires flash. Don’t be caught unprepared; Photon Browser and FlashFox can both help you access Flash content when necessary.

It is possible to get Flash on a wide array of browsers like Firefox by downloading Adobe’s no longer supported Flash apk How to Install Flash On Your Android Jelly Bean Tablet or Phone How to Install Flash On Your Android Jelly Bean Tablet or Phone For the past few years, Adobe Flash has proved quite controversial. Ever since Apple opted to block support for it on iOS – thereby forcing anyone who wanted to use the iPhone or iPad to... Read More , but not everyone is tech savvy enough to do that, and these browsers are as simple as download and use — no extra steps required.

Let the Flash battle begin.

Speed And Game Compatibility

Flash games have stuck around through thick and thin, so I decided to test Star Gazer on both browsers. The game loaded nearly instantly on my WiFi connection in both browsers; the difference here is that Photon will make you watch an ad before loading flash content. The ads range from 15 to 30 seconds, but you’re able to skip them after about 8 seconds.

FlashFox-Photon-Flash-Game-Test-1

However, the game was only really playable in Photon. While I love FlashFox for watching videos rendered in Flash, the touch interface just isn’t made for Flash games. Photon has a handy mouse-emulation feature in the lower left that makes the Flash games playable. If you’re willing to wait for the ads and want to play Flash games, Photon should be your browser of choice.

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Browsing Experience

FlashFox, as you can see below, has a much more modern interface. It’s lighter, with a menu similar to that found in Chrome for Android. In pure aesthetics, it’s the shiny polished batmobile to Photon’s rusty old pickup truck.

Photon has boring blacks and greys harkening back to the days of Gingerbread. The open tabs occupy a scrollable field along the top instead of being accessed by a button like on FlashFox, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does take up valuable screen space.

FlashFox-Photon-Settings-1

Tapping the tabs button in FlashFox will bring you to the screen shown below, where your current window is minimized at the bottom and you can switch to the other tabs with a quick tap. To close tabs, you can use the X on the right or swipe them off to the side.

There’s also a private browsing mode similar to Chrome’s Incognito mode for all your … ahem … completely legit untrackable browsing needs. In FlashFox’s settings, you can also find an option for Do Not Track, making sure websites don’t track you even when not using Private Browsing.

FlashFox-Features-1

FlashFox is compatible with FireFox Sync, allowing you to keep all your data like bookmarks synced between devices. It’s even compatible with FireFox add-ons, which can greatly improve your browsing experience.

Photon-Features-1

Photon Browser is pretty short on features aside from the mouse emulation mentioned earlier, but that one feature can be a life saver. You’ll also find bookmarks, private browsing, and a pop-up blocker.

Price

Both Photon and FlashFox are free to use, but the paid version of FlashFox costs only $2.99 whereas the paid version of Photon Browser is $9.99 for a 1 year license.

Without paying, you’re stuck with banner ads along the bottom of both apps, and as mentioned previously, Photon will play video ads before allowing you to see Flash content.

If you’re into paying for apps and enjoy cute seabirds that look like they’re trying to be penguins, you might want to check out Puffin, which we’ve reviewed the iOS version of Use Puffin Browser To Play Flash Content On Your iPhone & iPad Use Puffin Browser To Play Flash Content On Your iPhone & iPad Whenever someone asks me to recommend an app that supports Flash videos on their iPad, I recommend Puffin Web Browser. Read More . It is a another great Flash-capable browser, but it only includes a short trial on Android before you have to pay, and this article is just examining free options.

Conclusion

So what if mobile Flash was killed off years ago? It still exists on the Web and we still need browsers that can take advantage of it when necessary. Personally, I prefer FlashFox for its more modern interface and Firefox-related features, but Photon is a solid alternative and necessary for playing Flash games.

If any Windows Phone users have made it this far, don’t despair, there are ways for you to get Flash video on your Windows Phone How to Enjoy Flash Video on Windows Phone How to Enjoy Flash Video on Windows Phone During my recent holiday I had some spare time and tried to find something interesting to watch on my Windows Phone. Now, I could have used the YouTube or BBC iPlayer or many other apps,... Read More  too.

Don’t forget to download Photon Browser or FlashFox from the Google Play Store.

Which of these browsers is your favorite? Do you have a different way of accessing Flash content on Android? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Shaun Mccrimmon
    September 17, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Flashfox sucks it doesn't even play flash videos either. It's useless for flash content. Photon is hands down the browser you want to have if your running a 5.0 Android tablet. I used flashfox and it wouldn't play any flash content at all. It would cut off and kick me off flashfox every time. Does anyone have solutions to try?

  2. that_guy
    April 1, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Maxthon Browser = FREE w/ Flash support

    A very quick and nicely designed browser (available phone, tablet, and Windows versions)

    never had a problem...

  3. Sakshar T
    March 31, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I use Photon Browser... I rarely need to use it , but I have it installed just in case!

    • Justin D
      March 31, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      yeah, i'm exactly the same. it's only rarely needed, but so useful when you run into that rare occurrence.

  4. Marek Lukáš
    March 31, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Pfff...Dolphin is the best flash-enable mobile browser. It's not even paid app.

    • Justin D
      March 31, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      Flash support for Dolphin was dropped in Android 4.4 and in Dolphin's support they redirect you to the XDA article about installing the patched Flash apk that I link to in my intro.

      For 4.0-4.3, they still require you to have Adobe Flash installed, and since it is no longer available in the Play Store, users would still have to sideload an apk. So while it certainly is possible to view flash content in Dolphin (or many other browsers) these two allow it without sideloading apks, making it much easier for the average user who doesn't even know what an apk is.

  5. Ed
    March 31, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Timely article.
    My wife was trying to watch some Food Network videos on her original Nexus 7 within Firefox. I previously did a manual Flash install on it.

    I haven't used Android Firefox in a long time and couldn't believe how God-awful slow it is on an original Nexus 7.

    I had to reboot the Nexus 7 to get flash video to play in Firefox, but Firefox itself was slow at loading even non-flash websites.

    I installed Dolphin, which was much quicker at loading web pages and playing flash video.

    Long story short, flash videos on Android is getting quirkier and less reliable, at least on the original Nexus 7.

    Some videos would play in Firefox, but would lock up Firefox when paused.
    Other videos would play, pause and stop fine in Dolphin, but not all videos would play.

    I wish mobile flash was supported for as long as desktop flash is, but still hope flash dies at some point. In other words, support all flash until it's ready to go across the board.

    • Justin D
      March 31, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      yeah, I feel your pain. the faster Flash dies, the better off we'll all be. but it sucks how slowly that change occurs.

  6. Federico G
    March 31, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Or you can install Dolphin browser wich is completely free and works great with Flash content. It even walks you through the installation of Flash if it detects you don't have it in your phone.

    • Justin D
      March 31, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      Flash support for Dolphin was dropped in Android 4.4 and in Dolphin's support they redirect you to the XDA article about installing the patched Flash apk that I link to in my intro.

      For 4.0-4.3, they still require you to have Adobe Flash installed, and since it is no longer available in the Play Store, users would still have to sideload an apk. So while it certainly is possible to view flash content in Dolphin (or many other browsers) these two allow it without sideloading apks, making it much easier for the average user who doesn't even know what an apk is.

      But you're right, it is nice that Dolphin steps you through downloading Flash if you don't have it, but this will only work on 4.0-4.3 and still requires some steps that the average user might not be comfortable with, like installing a downloaded apk.

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