It seems like the days of Adobe’s Flash Player are numbered! In a posting on their blog, Adobe has announced that they will end support for its Flash Player at the end of 2020.
For those of you who need a reminder, in the early days of YouTube, you would be asked to download the Flash Player to your computer and install it in order to view videos. Some websites were made using Flash Player.
Of course, Google Chrome is already taking steps in this direction. For instance, if you go to a site with content that requires Flash Player you will see a grey square in instead of the content you would like to see. You would then need to click on that Content in order to view said content.
In fact, Apple was one of the first to ditch support for Flash Player. For example, when the original iPhone was released in 2007, it never came with support for Flash Player. In 2010, the first iPad came out and that also came with no support for Flash Player (in favour of web technologies like HTML5 – more on HTML5 in a moment).
So what does this basically mean? Well Flash Player will continue to get updates all the way until the end of 2020.
It also means that any websites that still require Flash Player will need to transition away to another technology (like HTML5). They basically have 3 years in order to transition over (if they’ve not done so already).
Flash Player was initially made for desktop computers and it required you to install it (unless you had Google Chrome on your computer(which came with Flash Player). In fact, there were a lot of sites with games that you could play in your web browser that required the Flash Player.
Since then, the vast majority of websites out there have moved away from using Flash Player. Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome both operate a click to run system with Flash. This means that you would have to click on any content that requires Flash Player if you want to view that content.
Some even use a more modern web technology like HTML5. In fact, per Adobe’s blog post the likes of WebGL and HTML5 can do a lot of the stuff that a plugin (like Flash Player) can do:
“But as open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past several years, most now provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the web”.
On a more personal note, I have already stopped going to websites that require me to use Flash Player. In fact, if I do run into a website that requires me to download Flash Player then I will not use it (even if I can just click to enable Flash Player again).