Whatever happened to … Adobe Flash


Remember a few years ago (was it really 2008?) when the iPhone was hot, Android was beginning to take root, and the big argument was … Flash support in internet browsing?

Yep, I was just thinking about how much outrage that Steve Jobs dared to say that Adobe Shockwave Flash was awful. At the time the number one brag that all my friends who were on the Android bandwagon waved in my face was how they could browse to Flash based websites on their phones.

Of course, they could, but then they discovered something. Yes, Flash sucked. Battery power was visibly drained from their phone. A day’s worth of juice gone in 15 minutes. Add to that the fact that Flash wasn’t really useable with fingers (it really liked the resolution of a mouse and pointer.) Quickly Flash was no longer in by default, and then you had to sideload it.

Of course, anyone who was a non-Windows user (Mac, or Linux) knew that Flash was very sub-optimal in a non-windows environment. It was as if Adobe did a shedload of optimization for Windows system, with hardware acceleration in video, and the like, and then just let flash suck for everybody else. But a talentless hack with the Flash authoring tools cold create an interactive website easily, thus it was nearly ubiquitous in 2008.

Fast forward to today. I have a plugin for my computer browser to not let flash run unless I say OK. Guess what? I almost never see the placeholder for flash bits. Not even that many ads anymore (of course I block ads too).

Yep, Steve Jobs was prescient, Flash did suck then, and was the bane of shitty web developers to rely on that tool. Once the smartphone revolution took off, Flash has died.

Good riddance.

Update: Apparently the Economist website still does a shitload of Flash advertisements placed on it. The “No Flash” plugin is revealing.

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By geoffand

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October 2014

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