Death to Adobe Flash

Death to Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash is being blocked and removed by most software companies. Have your animations been upgraded to HTML5? Or will your visitors experience broken slideshows & content?



The web has come a long way in the last few decades. What began as simple text, empty chat rooms, and sparsely scattered imagery, has evolved into a digital world full of bright, colorful, animated, and interactive content. A large portion of which was made possible by Macromedia’s proprietary action script and Flash Plugin introduced in the mid 1990’s (and later acquired by Adobe). Back then, it was considered an incredible breakthrough in web technology, allowing thousands of new games and interactive components to be developed and deployed rapidly with minimal coding effort.

It wasn’t long before popular sites began utilizing Flash’s capabilities, providing a sense of longevity in the plugin’s adoption and lifespan. YouTube presented all of it’s video content using Flash. started hosting thousands of free Flash based games. Huge corps like Disney, Nike, HP, and GE hired in house action script developers to manage their sites. Even the mega-hit mobile game Angry Birds was constructed using Flash! The internet was exploding, and Adobe was on the front lines leading the evolutionary charge!  Then, along came the iPhone & iPad.


Apple wasn’t the first company to express concerns regarding Flash, but theirs were certainly the loudest after Steve Jobs wrote an open letter to their customers explaining why Flash would not be permitted on IOS. He claimed that although Flash had dominated the marketshare for personal computers in 2009, it still remained the number one reason Macs crashed. Furthermore, Adobe was unable to demonstrate acceptable stability and performance on any mobile device, and Symantec had recently highlighted Flash for having “One of the worst security records in 2009.” Finally, he pointed out that mobile devices relied on touch input, whereas “Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice.” This letter left a lot of developers questioning, what is our cross browser alternative?


The answer was simple, and already available natively on most modern day browsers via HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Newer versions of these languages were developed & released, bringing unfathomable possibilities to the modern web’s user experience. It wasn’t long before these technologies working in tandem surpassed the capabilities of Adobe Flash, while requiring less resources, and without the need for regular updates. Read an in depth comparison of HTML5 and Flash.

Many companies have spoken out against Flash in recent months, including the CSO at Facebook saying, “It is time for Adobe to announce the end-of-life date for Flash.” Firefox and Chrome have both blocked Flash multiple times due to security vulnerabilities that put users at extreme risk. Ubuntu computer manufacturer System76 Corp. announced it would no longer pre-install Flash on it’s products, and Rich Mogull, CEO of Phoenix-based Securosis LLC, was blunt when asked if there is a reason enterprise should trust or use the Flash Player, answering “None at all. Dump it.”

In recent years, the web has been steadily moving away from Adobe Flash. YouTube now offers all video by default in HTML5, as does Netflix, and a majority of other media websites. Now Twitch, the online gaming site has announced they will be converting their platform too.

What does it all mean for you?

Pretty female office worker destroying laptop computerAlthough it is claimed that 10% of the modern web is still using Adobe Flash to deliver content, that number is shrinking every day. With more security vulnerabilities emerging it’s only a matter of time before browsers discontinue the allowance of this plugin. Do you have a website that is currently using Flash animations, video, or audio? Because when Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, and Safari pull the plug, those things are no longer going to work! People that visit your site will see broken boxes instead. That fancy slideshow is going to be a blank spot that no longer helps engage your users to sell your products or display your ideas. The beautiful site you paid an arm and a leg for will now frustrate your customers and turn business away.

Most likely to a competitor with a more professional appearance through their updated, modern, and most importantly; WORKING site.

The good news

There’s still time! And no shortage of really great development companies out there that are more than happy to help you convert those outdated Adobe Flash components to HTML5. Chances are high that they’ll be able to rebuild only the pieces necessary, and you won’t have to pay for an entire site-wide redesign. Personally I’m a believer in preventative maintenance rather than putting out fires once they’ve started. I wholeheartedly suggest that you investigate your site and get a quote from a modern development / design studio ASAP- Because maybe Flash will continue hanging by a thread for a couple more years, but perhaps it will fall off tomorrow.



Bottom line: Better safe than sorry.


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