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Adobe Flash reaches end of life

Adobe Flash reaches end of life

The once-ubiquitous technology for displaying rich media content in web browsers and mobile devices will no longer be supported in 2021.

Credit: Rob van der Meijden

Adobe’s once-ubiquitous Flash Player, a browser-based runtime for displaying rich media content on the Internet, has reached the end of the road, with the company having made the final scheduled release of the technology for all regions outside mainland China.

The final release was made on December 8. Adobe will no longer support Flash Player after this month; Flash content will be blocked from running in Flash Player beginning on January 12, 2021. 

Adobe advises all users to immediately uninstall Flash Player to protect their systems. In release notes, Adobe thanked customers and developers who have used the technology and created content leveraging it during the last two decades. An end-of-life general information page has been posted.

Adobe announced in July 2017 that it would discontinue Flash Player at the end of this year. Flash technology succumbed to perceptions of it as proprietary technology in an era when standards-based technologies such as HTML5 began to gather momentum. Adobe cited WebGL and WebAssembly as now-viable alternatives.

Flash sustained a critical blow when Apple declined not to support it on the iPhone and iPad mobile devices. Additionally, security issues plagued Flash, and major browser vendors began moving away from the technology. Video content site YouTube backed away from Flash in 2015, opting for HTML5.

By giving three years’ advance notice, Adobe hoped to provide enough time for developers, designers, businesses, and others to migrate their Flash content to new standards. The timing of the Flash end-of-life was coordinated with major browser vendors.


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