Google announced yesterday that it will “de-emphasize” Adobe Flash in its Chrome browser in favor of HTML5 from next month.
As of Chrome 53, whenever the web browser comes across a site that loads Flash “behind the scenes” it will block the offending content and switch to the faster HTML5 web standard whenever it is available.
Google notified users of the change to its browser’s behavior ahead of time in a blog post:
Today, more than 90% of Flash on the web loads behind the scenes to support things like page analytics. This kind of Flash slows you down, and starting this September, Chrome 53 will begin to block it. HTML5 is much lighter and faster, and publishers are switching over to speed up page loading and save you more battery life. You’ll see an improvement in responsiveness and efficiency for many sites.
In December, Chrome 55 will make HTML5 the default experience, except for sites which only support Flash, in which case users will be prompted to enable it on initial visit.
The move is another nail in the coffin for Adobe’s web standard, which used to serve the majority of online media content before former Apple CEO Steve Jobs decided not to support it on the iPhone.
In Safari 10, set to ship with macOS Sierra, Apple plans to disable Flash by default, along with Java, Silverlight, and QuickTime, in an effort to focus on HTML5 content and improve the overall web browsing experience.
The plug-in has long been problematic for Apple, requiring frequent security fixes and forced updates to patch a stream of vulnerabilities.
Chrome can be downloaded from Google’s Chrome website or installed using the Chrome browser’s built-in update functionality.
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