The Demise of Flash:That Puzzle Piece Icon on Website
If you ever browsed the internet before January 1, 2021, you probably came across a website that used Flash. Flash was used to play videos, music, and games. You may have spent many hours searching on YouTube using Flash to play videos as well as on Miniclip.com to play games.
If your browser didn’t support Flash, a message showed up with a puzzle piece sign in the middle. If you clicked on it, you were redirected to the install page. It had been part of the internet for decades. However, Adobe, its creators, stopped supporting it after December 31, 2020.
Adobe Flash is Obsolete
It’s been a long time coming now, but Flash is finally obsolete. The vast majority of websites had stopped supporting it at all. While Flash ruled the roost for many years, it had fallen in favor and dropped from several browsers and operating systems.
In 2010, Apple Inc. dropped support for Flash completely. Steve Jobs outlined this in a document called, “Thoughts on Flash”. It highlighted several problems with the platform including security issues and several contradictory statements by Adobe.
The final nail in the coffin was the introduction and adoption of HTML5.
HTML5: Adobe Flash’s Successor
HTML5 was first introduced in 2008, and quickly began being adopted by various internet browsers. By 2011, Adobe itself said that it would discontinue development of Flash for mobile devices. This presented a huge tilt towards HTML5. Since mobile device sales were quickly outpacing computer sales, it meant HTML5 would be dominant on most devices.
According to the most recent estimates, 85.9% of all websites live are using HTML5. Hence, the vast majority of websites no longer support Adobe Flash any more. It’s only logical that the platform would eventually become obsolete.
If anything could make things worse for Flash, it was that HTML5 was adopted by YouTube as default. This happened in 2015, and as a result, perhaps Adobe Flash’s largest market was taken away. Billions of videos on the largest streaming service in the world were now run on HTML5 exclusively.
By 25th July, 2017, Adobe announced that it would be ending support and distribution of Flash by 2020. This meant that Flash content would be blocked from running when Adobe Flash is obsolete by 12 January 2021. It also meant that no security updates for the platform would be refused from then on.
Alternatives to Flash
While you don’t need an alternative to Flash to access the vast majority of the web, there are alternatives. After support is ended completely on January 12, 2021, certain program can still run websites for you. Know that none of these are supported on Apple devices since they ended support long ago.
A word of caution though, the vast majority of these are probably open to security threats, unless stated otherwise.
Lightspark is an open source alternative to Adobe Flash. It’s supported on Linux, Opera, and Firefox.
Built with GNU, it’s a movie player that works just find.
This is a decoder for Macromedia Flash animations.
This is a free alternative to Adobe Flash to play media. It’s supported on all manner of Android devices including Android TV.
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