If you have recently purchased an Android device that is running Jelly Bean OS, you will probably realise that you are unable to view flash content due to the latest version of the Android OS not supporting it. Flash was removed from The Play Store last year on August 15 2012.
Luckily you can still download and install Flash to your device running Jelly Bean and start watching Flash content again. I have tested this on my unrooted Nexus 4 running Jelly Bean 4.2.1 (also works for Jelly Bean 4.3) with accessing ABC.com to view TV Shows.
Firstly, and I would be remiss not to say this, there are a few of things that I should make you aware of:
- As Flash is currently no longer officially supported on Android devices there are no security updates, which can leave you open to exploits and malicious Flash content.
- Also when temporarily allowing side-loading you are effectively turning off Android’s built-in security options, although you can re-enable this back after you have the required file.
- You may also notice a few stability issues when playing Flash content, although I have yet to have any issues.
All-in-all the information below will only take you 5 mins, if that. I tried to be clear and give screenshots where possible, hence it may look longer.
Before you download the Flash file required, you will need to enable side-loading on your device which you can disable once you have installed the required file. To do this in Jelly Bean, go Settings>Security>Unknown Sources. Check the box next to Unknown Sources.
That will now allow you to download apps from outside the Play Store. If you forget to do this you will see the following message when trying to install Flash:
Clicking Settings on the error message will take you to the Security options (as shown further up) where you can allow apps to be downloaded from outside The Play Store (side-loading)
Here are the three things you will need:
- Flash .apk file (go to the link and select download the file from your device)
- Firefox for Android (preferred browser)
- Phony add-on for Firefox (depending on which sites you are trying to access Flash content on, then you may require this due to the site recognising you are on a mobile device. This add-on will try to trick the site into thinking you are suing something else, like browsing via a desktop instead by switching the useragent)
Firstly we need to install the Flash .apk file, so head over to Dev-Host and select the download button. This will start to download on your device and install. Once it’s finished hit Done. (I have done this install a few times and noticed that a reboot was required for my device to realise that Flash was available. Your experience may differ)
Next you will need to download Firefox for Android and install it.
Now just open up Firefox and enjoy. Here’s a quick example when trying to watch Grey’s Anatomy on ABC:
Viewing ABC.com without Flash
Now Flash has been installed.
Now for the most part, that’s it but there may be a few of you that are trying to view content on sites that doesn’t like you being an an Android device like the iPlayer.
To get around this we will need the site to think that the person attempting to watch the content is doing so on his or her desktop and not via an Android device. For that we will need to download and install an add-on for Firefox called Phony which adds a user-agent switcher to the Firefox menu, so you can view desktop or mobile sites by masquerading as an iPhone, Android, or desktop browser. You can download the add-on here. There is no restart required.
Now you have the add-on, open Firefox and select the settings (top right) icon to see the options
Select Phony which will let you change the useragent to make a site think that you are using another device. There are quite a few options like, iPhone, iPad, Lynx, Microsoft IE, Android (Tablet) and Android (Phone). The option we want to select is Desktop Firefox. Select that and hit OK.
Now when I reopen Firefox go back to the iPlayer I don’t have an issue.
Here’s an example of BBC Click playing
If you want to bypass the ‘Tap here to activate plugin‘ that appears each time you are watching a flash movie or show like shown below, open Firefox>Settings>Plugins> and check the Enable button.
That’s it. Now don’t forget to go back and un-check the box next to Unknown Sources in your phones security section to disable side-loading & only allow apps to be downloaded from The Play Store.
The above worked perfectly fine for me on an unrooted Nexus 4 running Jelly Bean 4.2.1. Hulu is still being a pain to access via my Nexus 4 (any Android device), but should I find a way around I will update. For those interested there is an .apk for HuluPlus that some people have had luck on, but not so on the Nexus 4…..yet.
If you are in the UK and want to access video services like ABC overseas, or vice-versa like with the iPlayer, then you can do so (as I did above) by connecting via a VPN.
Just remember that as with any unofficial program, you run it at your own risk.
Hope that helps?