gone in a flash

Adobe Flash to be phased out on Google Chrome

When Internet giants like Apple and YouTube turn their backs on you, the writing is pretty much on the wall. But when Google also joins that mass exodus, you know it’s pretty much game over. And that is exactly what has happened to Adobe Flash.

Google have recently outlined plans to push HTML5 by default in their Chrome browser in order to phase out Flash technology by the end of the year. For those who don’t know, Flash is a type of software that’s used for videos and animations on websites, although it’s become notorious for its many security holes.

Google’s announcement essentially means that Adobe Flash Player will be turned off by default, so Chrome users will need to actively turn it on. However, Chrome is only allowing Flash to be compatible with a handful of top websites that rely on the technology.

Abolishing Flash seems like a move that Google has been veering towards for years so it hasn’t come as a huge shock. Let’s be honest, when Adobe themselves started advising customers to not use Flash, it was fairly clear that there was a problem. In fact, Adobe has publicly supported HTML5, citing its superiority over Flash.

Flash’s flaws

Flash was popular years ago, being favoured for its ability to display rich media on websites such as YouTube. However, a number of security flaws and holes in the technology have made it a prime target for hackers.

Thankfully, times have changed and Flash is no longer the only way to display rich media on websites. HTML5 is the new kid on the block and offers a much more secure and effective way to view rich media in browsers. Because of this, a lot of big companies have announced that they won’t use Flash technology. The first blow came from Steve Jobs when he wrote an open letter about Flash’s failings and said that Apple wouldn’t be using it on any of their devices. Google’s announcement about HTML5 by default will inevitably be the final nail in the coffin. It’s predicted that Google’s announcement will quickly push more people to move away from Flash, so if you’re considering a new website design, this is something you need to keep in mind.

It’s worth noting that Flash will still be compatible with Chrome until the end of the year. But by the time 2017 rolls around, Flash will be banished to some dark corner of the Internet; locked away like a naughty child to think about what it’s done.

All hail HTML5

HTML5 technology has exploded onto the scene and become everyone’s favourite choice in a relatively short period of time. It has quickly become the replacement for Flash since it isn’t as vulnerable to the same security issues of Flash. It’s also far more efficient on different devices and doesn’t drain battery life as quickly. For those reasons, it has been embraced by the developer community.

According to W3Techs, 8% of websites still use Flash. With companies like Google, YouTube and Apple all stepping away from Flash, we’d recommend that you do the same. If your website still uses Flash to display media, it might be time to move forward and invest in a new website. Get in touch today to discuss your options.

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