The Adobe Flash Player plug-in has been officially discontinued, more than a decade after its death warrant was issued by Apple at the original iPhone launch.
The web browser tool, which brought games, videos, animations and a whole lot of advertisements to the web has now been laid to rest by the software maker.
Adobe says it will no longer provide security updates for the plug-in and now it is now advising users to uninstall the software from their computers. From January 12, Flash Player will no longer run videos and animations.
The death knell for Flash was sounded way back in 2007 when Apple decided the iPhone would not support it. Indeed, it was the birth of touchscreen devices that truly exposed the format’s limitations.
Having received criticism for the decision, the late Steve Jobs wrote a stinging open letter called “Thoughts on Flash” in which he lambasted the plug-in for its security and touch shortcomings, as well as its negative effects on battery life.
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“Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short,” Jobs wrote.
While it has been maligned in recent years, Flash was a great enabler in the early days of the web. Users on dial-up connections were able to access games and videos which could be downloaded and viewed relatively easily. Most of the early additions to YouTube were uploaded in the .flv video format, for example.
However, the platform’s inadequacies were laid bare in the modern era due to its security vulnerabilities and inability to adapt to the mobile generation.
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