There have been plans to kill off Adobe Flash — the company’s beleaguered software for running multimedia content across devices and websites — for several years, but now the end is truly nigh.
The company pushed its last update for Flash Player yesterday, and announced it will no longer support the software after December 31. It will also block Flash content from running in the player starting January 12, 2021, and recommends uninstalling the player from your computer if it’s still on there.
Flash‘s death knell has been ringing for years; it sounded loudly back in 2016, when Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome began blocking it across the web. In 2017, Adobe announced it would properly shut it down by the end of 2020, and here we are.
Adobe Flash used to be essential for bringing the web to life back in the day. It supported streaming video, rich animations, games, and interactive content online. Sadly, it was plagued with bugs and vulnerabilities that were frequently exploited over the years, and put users at risk of being hacked.
Hell, as recently as this September, we learned Apple mistakenly let a piece of Mac malware built in Flash run without warning that would display ads across your desktop.
Thankfully, HTML5 came along some six years ago, and allowed developers the power and flexibility to create high-quality interactive content and animations, similar to Flash but without all the security flaws.
As much as Flash revolutionized our experience of the web, it also brought along a litany of woes. If you’re feeling nostalgic about the good ol’ days, you might find some solace in Flashpoint, an archive that has some 36,000 games originally created in Flash and emulated for your pleasure.
Farewell, Flash. It’s been a bumpy ride, but the WWW wouldn’t have been what it is today without you.