First, yes, most article headlines or titles that end in a question mark can be answered with a simple, “No!” That’s not the case here, but I understand the sentiment. Second, Flash– specifically the Flash plugin for Safari and Firefox on a Mac– may be the most maligned piece of software ever, but probably with good reason.
Marvel At The Flash
Flash as a platform is dying. Flash has virtually no presence in the world of mobile devices, and new Macs don’t even ship with Flash installed.
Why and why not? Steve Jobs‘ missive ‘Thoughts on Flash‘ still occupies a page on Apple’s website and outlines many of the problems inherent with Flash.
For Mac customers who use Safari, Apple installed plugin controls that give you options to view Flash plugins or not– on a site by site basis. That control is priceless and it’s built-in to Safari.
Yet, Flash remains as a player on desktop and notebook PCs and Macs. Why?
Adobe claims hundreds of millions of people use Flash on their devices to view animation, advertising, games, graphic sites, and videos.
Flash at 18.104.22.168 may be the best Flash plugin ever for Mac users. Flash has been accused of crashing Safari more than anything else, but this version– and, indeed, recent versions– have been more stable, and use less of the Mac’s CPU and battery.
Flash now has an option to display Stage3D ‘Standard’ profile on iOS and Android devices, though I don’t see developers rushing to implement the option. Why not? Flash is a relic that just refuses to exit stage left, refuses to die gracefully, and Adobe isn’t Apple (which means the company holds onto the past more than it moves into the future).
The latest version of the Flash Player plugin is a beta (Adobe loves to push out beta products), but as stable as those in recent years. What is interesting about using Flash on the Mac, is this– if you don’t use it, most websites with advertising or videos will display an HTML5 compatible version instead, and those play just fine on Safari.
I just wish Adobe used the same intestinal fortitude it used to charge customers a monthly subscription for Creative Suite apps to finally put Flash out of our misery.