Adobe has announced the end of its stalwart Flash browser plugin, and there's been an outpouring of emotion (sadness and joy) across the internet. To be fair, this has been coming for the best part of the last decade and it therefore seems apt that 2020 is the year to finish Flash off.
Flash Player's final days were announced with the release of its final update, named AIR 32. You'll have until 31 December 2020 to enjoy Flash, at which time Adobe will stop supporting it. It will then block content running in Flash Player from January 12 2021. (For Adobe tools that aren't about to die, check out this Adobe software list.)
The cancellation of one of the internet's most well-known plugins is due to a cacophony of issues including a lack of users and a rise of (more secure) replacement programmes. Given Flash Player's buggy, often annoying, performance issues and the fact it's a target for malware, we weren't surprised to see there are many users unbothered by the situation:
A technology era comes to an end. Good riddance. #AdobeFlash #technology https://t.co/GqIh7F4ittDecember 10, 2020
This will be a day long remembered, it will see the end of #Adobe #Flash and the endless security holes it created!https://t.co/DPKqXJRK9FDecember 10, 2020
But, outnumbering these guys is a cohort of users who are lamenting the decision, labelling it the end of an era. Many of these folks are sad about the ending of certain games, animation and sites, which are reliant on Adobe's plugin. We especially enjoy the use of the term 'Flashpocolypse'.
But for me, and certainly a lot of other people who grew up with the internet in the 2000s, their fondest memories with #AdobeFlash were playing Flash games that were a dime a dozen on the internet. Many early websites were dedicated (at least partially) to hosting Flash games. pic.twitter.com/mAoZK76TLkDecember 8, 2020
The only constant in my life in 2020 was Google begging me to turn off Adobe flash player and now that that’s over I feel empty insideDecember 7, 2020
Rest in piss Adobe Flash, you gave me great memories... pic.twitter.com/zXV20zqF66December 1, 2020
...that will no longer be accessible. Some really iconic work that influenced the direction of the internet. The @internetarchive is full of it.Personally, I have old work that I'd like to revisit.How will we be able to access this post EOL?December 9, 2020
holy fuck so there’s this game i've been playing for years that i abandoned for a bit because i could never beat it. however with adobe flash on its deathbed, that meant this game only had until the end of this month to live, so i went back and have been playing nonstop for days pic.twitter.com/7bRG1GhCgXDecember 7, 2020
Flash Player continues to be evocative of a different era of web design, and its departure is clearly bittersweet for some – and fraught with nostalgia. If you feel the same, and you've got a long-forgotten game to complete, now's the time to get on with it.
Adobe, though, is looking to the future. The company said goodbye with a statement, stating its pride that "Flash had a crucial role in evolving web content across animation, interactivity, audio, and video," and that it is "excited to help lead the next era of digital experiences."
We look forward to seeing what Adobe comes up with next, and how it would fit into its current smorgasbord of over 50 apps (yes, really, 50. See them all in this video).
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