Flash Gets A Death Date As Adobe Announces Plans To Stop Update, Distribution In 2020


Flash will officially end its life span by 2020. Developed by Adobe, Flash had been sort of a requirement for years for anyone who wants to watch videos or play certain games on the internet.

But as HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly came forth, seeing the importance of Flash started becoming difficult. What was once a crucial plugin has devolved into an add-on, or worse — a nuisance.

"Over time, we've seen helper apps evolve to become plugins, and more recently, have seen many of these plugin capabilities get incorporated into open web standards," says Adobe in a blog post. With that, Adobe just announced that it's officially ending Flash soon and encourage developers or content creators to migrate Flash-dependent programs to newer formats and platforms.

Adobe Kills Flash

By the end of 2020, Adobe will stop delivering updates for Flash and stop distributing it altogether. The company still plans to collaborate with the likes of Apple, Mozilla, and Microsoft to bring updates to Flash for their browsers, but Adobe will simply stop offering new Flash features.

Though certainly unfortunate, Adobe's announcement doesn't come as much of a surprise. Given Flash's prevalence among internet users, it became a prime avenue for hackers. Apple choosing not to support it at all on mobile devices only expedited its descent into unpopularity. Since iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices were so popular, content creators and developers simply had to find a way to make Flash content work on them without Flash.

Modern browsers took notice: HTML5 allowed for replication of certain Flash features without installing crummy plugins. For its part, Adobe kind of admitted it was sick of flash and wanted it gone. The company has since stopped supporting Flash on its apps, trying to provide alternative to users.

At this point, there appears to be only a small number of things Flash can do that HTML5 can't — but HTML5 basically has the crucial functions covered, such as playing video. The number of companies that depend on Flash has diminished in recent years, hinting a transition.

The Legacy Of Adobe Flash

"We're very proud of the legacy of Flash and everything it helped pioneer," said Govind Balakrishnan, VP of product development at Adobe. All things considered, the company still holds a high regard for Flash, and rightfully so — without it, streaming videos or playing games on the web wouldn't have been possible back then. It made viewing content on the internet seamless, approachable, instant, and easy.

Got any fond or funny memories of Flash? Feel free to share them in the comments section below!

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