Is the Adobe Flash Player really dead?
No, wait… Yeah, it’s dead. No it’s not. Yes it is.
You could be forgiven if, like most of us, you’re really, really confused about what’s happening with the Flash Player.
Okay, so, seriously: WHAT THE HECK is going on with Flash?
Is it alive? Is it dead? Is it a zombie?!
Is Flash Dead?
No. About a year ago, Mozilla announced that they would no longer “support” Flash player in Firefox. But, as you may have noticed if you use Firefox, it still works.
The reason is that they “disabled” it, but not really. You may have gotten some kind of popup at some point, and of course you said, “Yes! Use Flash. Stop bothering me!!!”
Recently, Google announced that Chrome will not be supporting Flash by the end of 2016. Since Chrome is used by about 50% of the internet, this is a big deal. BUT… The Flash player will continue to work for 10 special sites (be still my beating heart), including YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, and Yahoo.
BUT… There’s another little tidbit to pay attention to: Even though Flash will be “disabled” except for the 10 Special Sites, you will still be able to manually approve the use of Flash on ANY web site, and Chrome will remember your setting.
So, in short, Flash will not be disappearing, and it will still work in Chrome even in 2017.
At least for now. Or, at least for then… Well, you get the idea.
Is Flash Dying?
Back in 2010, Steve Jobs famously remarked that Flash is dying and that it was a relic from a bygone era of PCs and mice.
Well, as we all know today, Jobs has shuffled off this mortal coil, and you and I have not. We also know that the PC (that’s “Personal Computer”) is still going strong. Last time I checked, so were computer mice…
But then, Steve Jobs’ amazing genius consisted solely of getting other people to make sort-of-good stuff that he then convinced everyone was revolutionary. THAT was his “genius”. Predicting the future? Not so much… Creating the future? Not so much… After all, he managed to “create himself out” of the future we are currently residing in. He died relatively young.
Anyway, most of the Flash Hoopla is centered around Jobs/Apple’s poo-pooing of Flash way back when.
Well, there is also the fact that Flash Player does have a lovely, long list of security holes. There’s also that little detail that things like videos can be played today without Flash. Instead, using HTML5, your browser can play a video with less CPU power and less battery usage on average. That’s a good thing.
But Flash isn’t gone or dead just yet.
There is also the fact that Flash is not really supported on mobile browsers. Flash + Smartphone or Flash + Tablet is kind of a no-go. Still, you’ve got a puter, and it still works there…
Security holes in Flash? Oh my word!
Yeah, I know, it’s shocking.
Since you still probably have Flash installed, and you still probably will for awhile, you should do one of two things:
- Reboot your puter regularly. When you do, Adobe will automatically check for and notify you of updates to the Flash Player. Install, done!
- Visit Adobe’s Flash Version page, which will tell you if you’re up to day or not. If not, download the update! Just be sure to UNcheck the Optional Offers. I wouldn’t run McAfee software on my puter if somebody paid me…
If you use Chrome, you are most likely using the built-in version of Flash that comes with Chrome automagically. In that case, just keep Chrome up to date, and BOOYAH! Your Flash Player is also kept up to date. Wasn’t that easy?
Just for good measure: You can also check your YouTube settings and tick the box for “use HTML5 videos when possible”. HTML5 video is better, after all!
For those of you who are not as cool as people who are not me, TL;DR = Too long; Didn’t read.
Apparently, in addition to predictions of the premature deaths of still-common technologies, stupid acronyms are also all the rage. I had to look up TL;DR three times before I could remember what it meant – that’s just how stupid it is. Mind you, I’m an engineer, and I LOVE acronyms…
But, I digress.
In my day, we just called it a “Summary”. Everyone knows what that means.
But, I’m still digressing.
So, in SUMMARY:
Just keep using Flash if you want, but be sure it’s up to date by visiting this page. Update manually if necessary. If using Chrome, keep it up to date. And don’t sweat the rest. DONE!