Adobe is killing Flash, the software that millions used in the early 2000s to play web games and watch video in their web browsers.
The company announced the software was “end-of-life” in a blog post on Tuesday. From the blog post:
“Given this progress, and in collaboration with several of our technology partners — including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla — Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.”
There is still lots of content on the web that uses Flash — it’s still built into Google’s desktop Chrome browser — so the software will be supported through 2020.
This means that Flash, which has been criticised for being insecure, will continue to get security updates through 2020. New features and capabilities will be added “as needed.”
Adobe points to software including HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly as possible replacements for Flash, and software like Animate CC and Premiere Pro for creating web animations.
Steve Jobs’ famous letter
One reason for Adobe ending Flash is because it’s a battery hog. That’s why Flash has never worked on iPhones or iPads, and Android stopped supporting Flash in 2012.
The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs once wrote a famous blog post detailing why Apple chose not to support Flash on the iPhone, giving six primary reasons:
- Adobe Flash is proprietary.
- Newer video formats are superior and widely available.
- Flash is insecure and does not perform well.
- Flash kills battery life.
- Flash does not support touch.
- Apple did not want developers writing Flash apps instead of iPhone apps.
Apple’s browser team wrote a blog post about how the end of Flash will affect iPhone and Mac users:
“Apple users have been experiencing the web without Flash for some time. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch never supported Flash. For the Mac, the transition from Flash began in 2010 when Flash was no longer pre-installed. Today, if users install Flash, it remains off by default.”
Microsoft said that Flash will be removed from Windows entirely by the end of 2020. Google said that only 17% of Chrome users visit a site with Flash on a daily basis, and it too will remove Flash from its browser by the end of 2020.