You must remember the highly controversial open letter that the late co-founder of Apple wrote about Adobe’s technology, back in 2010, titled, “Thoughts on Flash”. Steve Jobs’ letter, that is still available on Apple’s website, openly predicted the demise of the technology in the near future. His opinions were highly contested but as it turns out, he was right after that!
Steve’s letter was a response to Adobe’s public criticism of Apple for removing the support of Flash from all of its products. Adobe shifted the focus of Flash Player to the rival Android platform and for many years thing remained unchanged.
However, six years ago even Android stopped using flash plugins for their apps. Since then, Flash’s days have been numbered and with the latest news that Adobe will discontinue the development and distribution of the plugin and related software by the end of 2020, it became certain.
The Photoshop makers finally acknowledged the fact that most websites have integrated the capabilities that were once provided by Flash and Shockwave plugins directly into the browser. Thereby, Adobe has confirmed that they’re now going to shut down Flash.
The statement from Adobe reads, “Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to the open formats” such as HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly.
However, the company will continue to issue regular security patches till the end of 2020 while maintaining compatibility and adding features.
How will it affect you?
If you visit websites that have moved from Flash to open web standards, you won’t notice much difference. However, if a website continues to use Adobe’s plugin and you have given explicit permission to run Flash, it will continue to work till the end of 2020.
Since, Apple has already predicted the end of Flash, they mentioned on the WebKit blog that the transition began in 2010 for its users when flash was no longer pre-installed on Mac. They reminded the developers that Safari’s WebKit engine features a number of technologies for interactive experiences that don’t require a plugin.
For the past 2 decades, Adobe’s proprietary plugin has powered a number of games, videos and apps on the web while sending users into overdrive and contributing to massive battery drain.
However, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the ultimate doom of Flash was caused due to the fact that it was never supported by iOS which has been one of the most popular operating systems.