Loathed by web purists, but loved by graphic artists who couldn’t code, Adobe Flash inches closer to obscurity.
Adobe Flash is a once-dominant multimedia software platform used for the production of animations, applications, games, and web browser video players. It is also an insecure, ubiquitous resource hog that has put users at risk since 1999. Fortunately, Flash is being abandoned as Adobe transitions to HTML5. The Flash Player plugin has been deprecated and further development is scheduled to end in 2020.
[The] Chrome 69 [web browser], due to be released on September 4, is going to take the next step toward phasing out support for Adobe’s Flash plugin.
Chrome started deprecating Flash in 2016, defaulting to HTML5 features and requiring Flash to be enabled on a per-site basis. Currently, that setting is sticky: if Flash is enabled for a site, it will continue to be enabled across sessions and restarts of the browser.
That changes in Chrome 69 — Flash will have to be enabled for a site every time the browser is started. This means that Flash content will always need positive, explicit user permission to run, making the use of the plugin much more visible — and much more annoying.
Wounded by Apple
Steve Jobs, the CEO and co-founder of Apple, was famously hostile to Flash and refused to support it on Apple mobile devices. On April 29, 2010 Jobs published an open letter that sharply criticized Adobe’s Flash platform and outlined reasons why the technology would not be allowed on the company’s iOS hardware products. Below is an excerpt of that letter, the full text is available here.
Flash was created during the PC era — for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards — all areas where Flash falls short.
The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 250,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games.
New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.
— Steve Jobs / April 2010 / Thoughts on Flash