Adobe has announced it will axe its Flash Player and be replaced in the next few years.
The once essential piece of software was widely used for playing online games, watching videos and running applications on the web. However, with more open web technologies becoming available that are faster and more power efficient, Flash has become a lot less common over the last few years. Also, there have been security concerns with the use of Flash, as hackers have used it as a vehicle to download malware, resulting in many companies distancing themselves from the product.
Apple has not supported the software on its iOS devices, and both Chrome and Safari also tend to request permission every time Flash is required for a site. With 80% of Chrome users visiting Flash sites in 2014, that number has now decreased to a significantly low 17%. It is no surprise that the announcement of Adobe Flash Player’s gradual phase out has been welcomed with open arms.
Flash Player will stop updating and distributing Flash by 2020, but will continue to support Flash where it is being used on operating systems and browsers in the coming years. It is said to be replaced by more open standards such as HTML5, which will provide many of the same functions but without the need to install a specific plug in.