Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Flash Was Useful Once, But It’s In Its Death Throes Now

Flash Was Useful Once, But It’s In Its Death Throes Now

flashlogo

You can’t have been on the Internet in any capacity for the past fifteen years and not come across Flash, a software platform created by the company known as Macromedia (now part of the overall Adobe empire, although at one time Macromedia and Adobe were bitter rivals). It’s been used for low budget animation, gaming, advertising and video streaming, and without it, sites such as YouTube simply wouldn’t exist now. That being said, YouTube streams via HTML5 predominantly these days, and many sites have switched away from Flash. Famously, when the first generation iPad came to market, it did so with no support for Flash media at all, something that’s persisted to this day. Early Android devices did offer Flash support, but it was quickly dropped there as well, meaning that it’s a medium for desktop and laptop PCs only now.

While Flash has enjoyed a healthy life on the Internet, it’s pretty clear that it’s in its final phases of being useful.

You’ve probably had those little pop-up windows turn up reminding you to upgrade your Flash player. That’s incredibly sensible advice, because one of the things that’s made Flash particularly problematic has been the use of it to deliver Malware in sneaky ways. Adobe’s worked fairly hard to minimise the impact, but it can only do so for updated installations of the Flash player — which is why some months you might be pestered for multiple updates to Flash.

Flash has also been accused of being something of a memory and processor hog, although some of that can come down to how well a given Flash application has been programmed. Just to twist the knife in a little further, if you’re using it on a laptop, it’s also something of a battery hog, but then anything that sucks up processing power is likely to kill your battery life.

Flash has been popular for autoplaying ad software as well. Again, you’re probably familiar with the sudden shock of having audio come from your desktop browser even though you don’t recall opening a video site per se. It’s effective as advertising, because it grabs your attention, but there’s a wide gulf between “effective” and useful, and it’s one that’s going to lose a lot of steam rather quickly.

Google’s announced that its Chrome browser will shortly stop auto-playing Flash content, leaving it up to the individual user to specifically click on a Flash ad or video to start it playing. The change is due to kick in for Chrome users on September 1st, although given Google’s a US company, that’ll probably be September 2nd for Australian users.

It might seem a little odd that Google, a company that makes its money from advertising is disabling software that serves ads. In Google’s case, it’s giving preference to the more open HTML5 standards, including the addition of a tool that’ll try to automatically convert Flash ads uploaded to Google’s own AdWords program into HTML5 content.

Flash isn’t likely to last much longer on the desktop once the world’s biggest online advertising company declares it no longer welcome. If you’re particularly annoyed by Flash, you can always look into extensions or plugins that limit its use, although depending on your choice of sites that may also produce some interesting layout issues when using tools such as Flashblock.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Recent News

world

The ambition behind Google’s Street View was (originally) to provide a little more human context to people’s map searches. It’s all very good to say that a journey will take so many minutes, or that you need to make this sequence of turns in order to get to your destination, but it’s long been a… More 

snapdragon

Ever since the computer market shifted from desktop PCs to laptops, there’s been a significant balancing act going on between the needs of computer users for processing power to run programs, and the needs of those same users for battery power to keep their laptops going. At a simplified level, the harder you push a… More 

Apple-Apple

For the longest time, the generally accepted knowledge was that Apple’s Mac computers didn’t get malware or viruses. Apple even went so far as to mock its PC opposition in the famous “Mac vs PC” ads for the issues they had around security and malware, to a fairly solid effect. While Apple’s Macs do still… More 

intel

Quite often these days when we hear about a major security flaw, it’s to do with the underlying software that we’re running on our PCs, whether it’s a dodgy browser exploit, some kind of flaw in productivity software or even “free” content sites that are awash with malware. It’s not quite so often that we… More