Amazon Kindle Fire bringing Flash video back from the dead

Amazon Kindle Fire bringing Flash video back from the dead
Don't call it a comeback...

Poor old Adobe Flash. After years of providing access to online video, along came HTML5 with its fancy, non-buggy, mobile-friendly software and it was "au revoir" without so much as a handshake.

However, despite Apple ditching the platform and Adobe halting support for Flash on mobile devices, many video providers haven't made the transition, making it tough to access content without a workaround.

Amazon is looking to fill that void with its affordable Kindle Fire tablets by testing an "experimental streaming viewer" that allows flash content to be played through the device's Silk browser.

AllThingsD brings word that the company is giving some users the chance to choose the player within the settings and access Flash-based web content from the TV networks like NBC, Fox and CBS.

Sharing the load

"We also wanted to use the cloud to offer new features or capabilities that solve customer frustrations - one we heard often from customers was that they wanted to view Flash content," Amazon's Kurt Kufeld told the site.

The approach being taken by Amazon is similar to that taken by other browsers and apps, such as Opera and Skyfire on iOS in recent years.

Because a lot of the Silk browser's heavy-lifting is done in the background on Amazon's AWS servers, the workload can be shared between the cloud and the device.

Games to follow video?

Amazon is yet to reveal how far it'll take the experiment but said it has broadened Flash-friendly access to around a dozen sights at the time of writing.

"We heard from a lot of customers that they were disappointed when Adobe chose to stop supporting Flash in mobile devices, so we've since been working hard to develop a solution for supporting Flash without compromising performance, security, stability or memory," Kufeld said.

"It's still very early days, and currently we're focusing on video. I can't speak to what we may do in the future," he added.

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.