Kevin B. Ridgway

Flash is Very Dead

November 02, 2019

In April 2010, Steve Jobs, co-founder, and then CEO of Apple outlined why Flash was not going to be included on Apple mobile devices. As a web developer who had worked a lot with Flash, Actionscript, Flash video players, Flash MX and the Flash authoring tools before it, I thought he had a point. I can tell you, I spent a lot of frustrating hours trying to get around Flash developer tool bugs, and building flash video players. Flash had it’s place on the web, and at one time was the de facto video delivery technology. But as security flaws continued, and Flash plugins got more bloated (and even installed toolbars in your browser! shakes fist mightily at Adobe) Apple began to see the writing on the wall as well. Flash wasn’t going to do well in the mobile-era that was upon us.

This was the beginning of the end for Flash on the web. Some of the web’s most iconic early websites and videos were built in or played in Flash technology. But the web was starting to mature in the technologies that had predated Flash itself: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Four years after Apple decided to bar Flash from Apple mobile devices HTML5 became a standard in 2014. Now there was a <video> and <audio> element that you could use in the browser! No plugins! Granted, it was early and took some work, and different codecs for different browsers.

The final nails in the coffin have now happened for Flash:

From Microsoft:

We will phase out Flash from Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer, culminating in the removal of Flash from Windows entirely by the end of 2020. This process began already for Microsoft Edge with Click-to-Run for Flash in the Windows 10 Creators Update. - The End of an Era – Next Steps for Adobe Flash - Microsoft Edge Blog

From Google:

Google Search will stop supporting Flash later this year. In Web pages that contain Flash content, Google Search will ignore the Flash content. Google Search will stop indexing standalone SWF files. Most users and websites won’t see any impact from this change. - Official Google Webmaster Central Blog EN: Goodbye, Flash

Flash, it was a wonderful time! There was laughter, and tears of frustration. The web will continue on. 👋


Kevin B. Ridgway
  • Hi, I'm a Senior Software Engineer living in sunny 🌨 Buffalo!
  • I'm an 🕸 Interweb & 🚀 Aerospace Enthusiast.
  • I like to build 👨🏼‍💻, and design 👨‍🎨, sketch 🖌 things. A lot.
  • I speak in 🦄 🌈 🎉 emojis and gifs 📷 sometimes all the time.
  • 😜🤳
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