The earliest signal of Flash’s fall came in 2007, when Apple decided not to support it in the newly introduced iPhone. At the time, the fifth version of HTML was about to emerge, and promised to replace some of the functionality Flash provided. With the nascent mobile web in mind, developers across the world began moving away from Flash and toward HTML5.
HTML5 became a catch-all term for the New Web: a pure, plugin-free internet experience that worked as well on the phone as it did on the desktop. […] By 2011, that idea had gained enough momentum that even Adobe acknowledged the changing tide. It ceased production of the Flash Player for Android and released a product called Edge Animate—a new way to create HTML5 content.
Facebook isn’t the only tech giant with a stake in Flash’s future. Earlier this month, Google announced changes to its Chrome browser that will block Flash by default. Users will still be able to access Flash content by clicking an opt-in button, but the move suggests a ticking clock on Chrome—the most popular web browser in the world—dropping support for Flash altogether. When that day comes, trying to play Flash games or watch Flash cartoons will be much like trying to play a cassette without a tape deck.
The Internet Archive and the Archive Team are currently saving Flash files. The website oldweb.today, which allows visitors to access archives of the internet past, provides emulations of vintage browsers, which will be necessary for viewing Flash content should modern browsers stop supporting the plugin entirely.
Previously: Thoughts on Flash.
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