There was a time, back in the day, when animated objects flashed across Mac and PC screens worldwide, back when Flash was the de facto standard for video on the interwebs. Thankfully, those days are gone.
You would have thought that with universal disdain and almost a million security holes to plug, that Adobe’s Flash would have gone the way of Microsoft’s Zune, Windows ME, Kin phones, or Bob. Unfortunately, even Steve Jobs couldn’t kill Flash and he tried very hard. Now, Flash is dead. Again. The latest nail in the coffin came from Google.
Not that many years ago Apple stopped shipping Macs with Flash installed. Why? Steve Jobs once pointed out that the majority of Safari’s crashes came from the Flash plug-in. It’s not that Apple hated Adobe, either.
Apple has a long relationship with Adobe. In fact, we met Adobe’s founders when they were in their proverbial garage. Apple was their first big customer, adopting their Postscript language for our new Laserwriter printer. Apple invested in Adobe and owned around 20% of the company for many years. The two companies worked closely together to pioneer desktop publishing and there were many good times. Since that golden era, the companies have grown apart. Apple went through its near death experience, and Adobe was drawn to the corporate market with their Acrobat products. Today the two companies still work together to serve their joint creative customers – Mac users buy around half of Adobe’s Creative Suite products – but beyond that there are few joint interests.
Suffice it to say that Flash was a joint interest but from differing perspectives. Flash does not exist on mobile devices. Flash must be downloaded on purpose and installed deliberately to run on the Mac. That left Google’s Chrome as the lone holdout harboring the serial criminal Flash.
Even Adobe dropped Flash. Well, actually it was renamed to Animate, now full of HTML5 goodies, and Flash has rapidly become a footnote to history. But not quite.
Google plans to start blocking most Flash content later this year. Jacob Kastremakes:
Under its current vision, nearly every website would have Flash content blocked by default. Visitors would still be able to enable Flash content on a site-by-site basis, but they would have to specifically choose to do so. Chrome would display a prompt offering to enable Flash; if chosen, Chrome would remember to run Flash on that site for all future visits.
10 websites would be enabled for Flash by default; sites like YouTube, Yahoo!, Amazon, and Facebook, among a few others. But even in Chrome, Flash isn’t completely dead.
Chrome won’t simply be blocking Flash — it’ll be pretending like Flash isn’t even installed. So if a website has a backup HTML5 player, people using Chrome will see that, rather than a prompt to enable Flash.
Flash is a menace on battery life and is continually found to have serious security flaws, so its eventual disappearance will be celebrated at every step.
Flash is dead again. Long live Flash. Oh, and good riddance.