Apple to End Support for Flash

Apple has placed the final nail in Flash’s coffin. Earlier this month, the Cupertino-based tech giant announced that it would no longer use Flash as the default media player for its upcoming Safari 10 web browser.

Flash has long been the preferred software platform for online multimedia, applications and animation. In recent years, however, the platform has been criticized for its security vulnerabilities, poor performance, and inability to function on many mobile devices. As a result, many companies are now choosing to use HTML5 for multimedia playback instead of Flash.

One such company that’s making the transition from the Flash to HTML5 is Apple. When Apple ships Safari 10 later this year, it will ignore legacy plugins that are installed. Instead of running Flash by default, it will prompt the user, asking if he or she would like to run it. Users will have the option to run Flash once or every time they visit the website.

Most websites that detect that Flash isn’t available, but don’t have an HTML5 fallback, display a ‘Flash isn’t installed’ message with a link to download Flash from Adobe,” explained Apple’s Ricky Mondello. “If a user clicks on one of those links, Safari will inform them that the plug-in is already installed and offer to activate it just one time or every time the website is visited. The default option is to activate it only once. We have similar handling for the other common plug-ins.”

Google Phasing Out Flash

News of Apple’s decision to stop supporting Flash should come as no surprise given the growing momentum for HTML5. In January 2015, YouTube announced that it was ditching Flash in favor of HTML5 as its default video player. And just one month later, Google said it was converting all Flash ads to HTML5.

More recently, Google also said its Chrome web browser would no longer use Flash as the default media player on all but 10 websites. Instead, Chrome will attempt to use a different method of playback (e.g. HTML5). If there’s no alternative method of playback available, Chrome will ask the user if he or she would like to use Flash, warning of the dangers associated with Flash. This change is expected to happen by the end of the year, at which point only 10 websites will use Flash by default — and even those sites will likely migrate to HTML5 within the near future.

With Apple, Google, Amazon and many other companies choosing HTML5 over Flash, it’s safe to say the end is nigh for Adobe’s long-running multimedia software.

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