Ever since Adobe killed off support for mobile Flash, 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, 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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. 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.
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 too.
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!