Adobe has finally announced plans to put an end to its controversial media plugin for Internet browsers Adobe Flash Player. In an official statement, on the Adobe blog, the company informs that it will stop updating and distributing the Adobe Flash Player by the end of 2020 and that it will encourage content creators to migrate any animation, video or game resources currently in Flash to other formats.
«In collaboration with several of our technology partners – including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla – Adobe is planning the end of Flash’s life. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing Flash Player by the end of 2020 «, informs in a statement. Adobe encourages creators to migrate all Flash content to HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly formats.
How to unlock Adobe Flash Player in Chrome
Adobe Flash Player – Photo: Disclosure / Adobe
According to the text, shared on Tuesday (25), the company recognizes that, over time, the web has evolved. New formats have been adopted and dispense with the use of plugins such as Flash in browsers to watch videos or play games.
«We remain committed to supporting Flash until 2020, so that customers and partners can put their migration plans into practice. Adobe will continue to support Flash on the most important operating systems and browsers,» he said.
Support planned for the next three years includes regularly issuing security patches and Flash compatibility with updates to browsers and machine operating systems, maintaining and adding features as needed. «We remain fully committed to working with partners, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla to maintain content security and compatibility,» adds the report.
Giants comment on end of Flash in 2020
Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla made their own announcements and comments about the planned end of support for Adobe Flash Player in 2020.
Apple dismissed Flash in 2010
Apple said it is working with Adobe, its industry partners and also with developers to complete the transition. The company recalled, however, that Apple users have been experimenting with the web for a long time without plugin support. Apple also said that its iOS mobility products – such as iPhone, iPad and iPod touch – never supported Adobe Flash Player.
In macOS, the Flash transition started earlier, in 2010, when the software was no longer pre-installed. Today, if users install Flash on the MacBook, the plugin remains disabled by default. Safari, the macOS browser, requires approval on each site before running the online plugin.
At the time, Apple founder Steve Jobs published a document called “Toughts on Flash” (Thoughts about Flash, in Portuguese), in which he spoke about the healthy relationship between the two companies, but about issues like closed source and, mainly, security, made the use of the plugin in their products a potential risk for Apple users. «Symantec pointed out that Flash has one of the worst security records in 2009. We also know that Flash is the number one reason for crashes on Macs,» he criticized.
Facebook will migrate games to other formats
Facebook said it also continues to work with Adobe, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Unity to pave the way for migration for developers who still use Flash in their games. «Today’s news marks the continuous evolution of the web and desktop games, and we are committed to working with developers to preserve their gaming experience on Facebook,» said Jakub Pudełek, software engineer for the social network.
Google reveals data and cites security
Google began its statement by stressing the importance of the plugin, which for 20 years has helped shape the way you play, watch video and run applications on the web. «But over the past few years, Flash has become less common. Three years ago, 80% of Chrome desktop users visit a site with the Flash Player per day. Today, the usage rate is only 17% and continues to fall «, informs.
The trend revealed by Google shows that sites are moving to other technologies that are faster and more energy efficient than Flash. «They [as novas tecnologias] are more secure so you can buy, access banking services, or read sensitive documents, «says Google Chrome product manager Anthony Laforge. The executive points out that the new standards are more attractive and work well on the desktop and on the cellphone.
Microsoft wants a web without plugins
For Microsoft, HTML5, implemented in all modern browsers, provides the best performing features, preserving battery life and increased security. «We look forward to continuing to work with Adobe and our industry partners to enrich the open web, without the need to use plug-ins,» says Microsoft Edge leader for Microsoft, John Hazen. The Windows browser will also abandon Flash for good.
Mozilla praises announcement with years of attention
Mozilla praised the announcement, citing that Adobe is managing the transition carefully, announcing the end of Flash support years in advance, and providing options for content creators. Mozilla has also updated its roadmap for Flash users in Firefox. «Firefox users will still have the opportunity to allow Flash to work on specific sites that require it,» says the browser developer in a statement.
Browsers and Adobe Flash Player
Google Chrome will continue to phase out. First, asking for permission to run Flash and then disabling it by default. By the end of 2020, the browser will also completely remove support for Flash Player. Anyone who visits a website that uses Flash today will still see the content. If the page migrates to other patterns, the user should not notice much difference – except that, in Chrome, he will no longer see instructions for running Flash manually. If the site continues to use Flash, it will only work until the end of 2020.
For Firefox, the plans are similar. Mozilla promises, without Flash support, a browser «faster than ever» and lighter. «Starting next month, Internet users will be able to choose which sites will be able to run the Flash plugin on their computer. Flash will be disabled by default for most users in 2019, and only users running the Firefox Extended Support Release version ( ESR) will be able to continue using Flash until the end of 2020, «said Mozilla Firefox lead engineer Benjamin Smedberg.
Gradually, Microsoft will also eliminate Flash from its two products: Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge. For content creators, the company released a «Flash Player detachment» schedule with phases in 2018 and 2019.