Adobe Flash Player (previously known as Macromedia Flash) has reached its end of life. The browser plugin which was known for bringing interactivity and animations to life on early web browsers, will no longer receive updates, including security updates, and as such Adobe have suggested that users uninstall the application. It will also stop videos and animations running in its Flash Player from 12 January.
Who used Adobe Flash and Why?
Adobe Flash was made popular before fibre or broadband ever came about. Remember when we used to have to dial up to connect, that funny noise and taking over the phone line to be able to even connect to the internet.
Adobe Flash allowed developers to create video content that was extremely low in file size that had feature rich content and appealed to users. It required little bandwidth to play these videos and as such was perfect for dial up internet users.
Animations made popular from Flash Player include Badger Badger, Salad Fingers and his rusty spoons and “All Your Base Are Belong To Us”. There were many websites that offered mini flash games such as ebaumsworld and miniclip.
Why Don’t we use Adobe Flash now?
The popularity of Adobe Flash took a hit with the rise in use of mobile devices. Some might say Adobe were slow in reacting to the shift in technology and because of this were left behind. Further to this, Apple made the decision to not support the platform on their iphone and ipad products.
Several years later Adobe did eventually get a version of Flash Player to work on mobile devices and tablets, however they were a bit late to the game. Developers had already started using HTML5 and other technologies that had emerged.
Adobe stopped working on its development for mobile devices, and concentrated on the desktop development side of things, although not without issues. As time went on some browsers disabled the plugin and began to block Flash content.
It was decided by Adobe in 2017 that Flash would be retired at the end of 2020.
Will the change affect me?
Some companies still rely on Flash, such as some popular internet games providers, who in turn rely on advertisers revenue to continue. They have had to make very big decisions this year, including face the sad reality of closing their ventures.
Other implications of Adobe Flash Players demise is that some older websites still rely on the technology for image/video upload. Users may find that over time they have to find alternative ways of uploading their content, or look to upgrade their websites to a more recent Content Management System such as WordPress.
You may also find that your favourite “old school” flash videos or games are a thing of the past, although some developers have uploaded the content to Youtube as a video, so you can still get your Salad Fingers fix!