Adobe Flash has had its days numbered for some time now. The resource heavy, often vulnerable multimedia plugin is being systematically eliminated from web browsers across the board.
In early August of this year Google announced that they would, along with other major internet browsing platforms, begin to limit the amount of Flash content enabled in their Chrome browser. Initial crack down on Flash content began last year with the curtailment of Flash-based advertising.
The Chrome developer team then began the process of prioritizing HTML5 as the default language for web content. The road map was laid out over a 3 month time span, beginning with the release of Chrome 53 in September.
According to the Chromium blog, the ultimate demise of the Flash experience would come with the release of Chrome 55. This would make HTML5 the standard and prompt users to enable Flash only if viewing a Flash-only site. The only exceptions would be the top 10 ranking Flash-based sites at the time of 55’s release.
In December, Chrome 55 will make HTML5 the default experience, except for sites which only support Flash. For those, you’ll be prompted to enable Flash when you first visit the site. Aside from that, the only change you’ll notice is a safer and more power-efficient browsing experience.
-Anthony LaForge, curator of Flash in Chrome
As I previously stated, Flash’s days are numbered. However, it appears the Chrome developers have granted the outdated plugin a stay of execution.
According to a report from ComputerWorld, the latest release of Chrome for Windows and MacOS has yet to disable Flash content. Tests run by the technology website on both Windows and MacOS show Flash being rendered with no restrictions or special permissions.
Does this mean Flash Player may live on? Hardly. The industry has spoken loud and clear and Adobe’s Flash Player will bow out and make way for a faster, more performance-based web experience.
Whatever the reason for the delay of Flash’s inevitable demise, Google needs only to flip the switch and Flash content will become the exception not the rule.
Chrome 55, much like Chrome OS 54, displays Flash settings much like the image below.
I would not be surprised at all if, by the beginning of the new year, “Block sites from running Flash” is the new recommended setting for Chrome and Chrome OS devices and that is a good thing for users everywhere.