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The Death of Flash

The Death of Flash

Fading into online obscurity, Adobe Flash’s proliferance has diminished greatly over the past decade with the advent of non-Flash supporting mediums such as iOS and Android. Once the industry standard (especially with banner ads and animations), Flash is approaching its final days with neither an afterthought or cheerio.

First developed in the 1990’s, Flash was a multimedia platform that was used to build and create animation, online games, vector graphics, and applications. Using Flash Player to display its content in web browsers, Flash dominated the field until the rise of the smartphone, specifically Apple’s iPhone. The success of the iPhone revolutionized the industry but the memory-intensive strain that Flash presented to the new rise of mobile devices created a problem – a problem that Apple quickly sidelined by not including iOS Flash support.

In a recent article on The Wall Street Journal, Robert McMillan reported, “Flash had become bloated over the years and required lots of computing power to run. That wasn’t a big deal on PCs, but on mobile phones, with their limited battery life, it was a major problem, and Apple had opted not to support the technology.” In a 2010 statement, Apple’s Steve Jobs related, “Even if iPhones, iPods and iPads ran Flash, it would not solve the problem that most Flash websites need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices.”

With smartphones (including Android) out of the equation, Flash was already on shaky ground – a loose foothold that came crashing down last month when Google Chrome and Mozilla web browsers stopped supporting the program citing a security risk within Flash that served as a hacking gateway – an action that occurred just days after Facebook publicly decried Flash in the media as an outdated program in need of discontinuing. Although Adobe worked quickly to create a necessary patch, this latest incident may be the final straw for what has for a long time been viewed as a distended, antiquated product.

With the rise and quick adaptation of other mobile-friendly platforms such as JavaScript, CSS, and especially HTML5 (a move supported by Steve Jobs when he cited HTML5 as the future), Flash’s run may have finally come to a crashing halt.

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