Adobe Flash Player is software used to view multimedia content on computers or other supported devices first released in 1996. Users looking for an application to play audio and video would download Flash Player and those who want to play a wide variety of browser games. Flash technology enables users to view media and animations in greater detail, so video games are more immersive. There are currently over 20,000 apps in the Apple and Android mobile stores that require some type of flash technology to run smoothly, as well as some of the most popular Facebook games in the gaming section. Certain webcams and microphones also require the flash technology and the functions are enabled once the users have accepted the permissions.
Software to view multimedia has long been surpassed by competitors
Outdated, unsafe software has met its end-of-life
In its prime, Flash Player was a must-have. At one point, the software was required to run most interactive applications on the internet. The software is a runtime, or a system that describes the library that coding language runs on. It works by running content from SWF files, which is an Adobe specific file format for multimedia and animations. There are a number of reasons that Flash Player was so popular, one being that flash files were very small. This meant that loading times for games and other software that needed Flash to run were shorter. When it was first released, the browser plugin was free so it was incorporated into a lot of web browsers. Once embedded into a website's GUI, it morphed the site from flat into exciting and interactive. YouTube, the most popular video sharing website around, was one of the many websites that used to be powered by Flash Player. To this day, a lot of animators still use Flash in their animation software because it is simple to learn how to use.
Although Flash Player was the backbone of the internet, due to a lot of privacy and security concerns most users have moved away from using it. Flash supports the use of local shared objects which, like cookies, store user data and can be potentially problematic if a lot of web browsing information is compiled over time.
Due to the amount of moving parts, playing games or using software that has Flash will drain your device battery significantly, which is a hassle since it's not good to constantly have your devices plugged into a charger will in use. If you have an iPhone, you won't be able to use anything that has Flash in it as none of the devices support it due to the repeated security issues and because it isn't really open sourced. Use of the software is more trouble than it is worth, and because of this, Adobe recently announced that it will end updates and distribution of the flash player at the end of 2020. The main reasons for the death of the software are that competitors are now lightyears ahead of Flash in terms of functionality and what is offered, and that plugins, in general, are dying out. HTML5 is becoming more and more widely used as it needs less processing power and doesn't require any plugins. Adobe went on to say that other big tech companies with products that once worked in conjunction with Flash, have come together and agreed to phase out the software altogether unless it is essential to the core of the technology.
Where can you run this program?
Adobe Flash Player can be run on some versions of Windows, Mac, Linux, and their respective browsers. It is also available on Android devices up to Android 4.3. Adobe announced in 2012 that it would no longer be releasing updates for Android devices. Since Flash Player is due to end-of-life and the end of 2020, many mobile and desktop platforms are no longer including the newer versions of Flash in their software updates.
Is there a better alternative?
HTML5 is the best alternative to Adobe Flash Player. The latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Safari, and Firefox all support HTML5, and most developers are moving in that direction. YouTube is another big name that has incorporated HTML5 into its video player, and most mobile iOS and Android mobile devices have software that works well with it. It already comes with most things that it needs to be supported by a browser, but Flash Player needs to have a plugin installed. HTML5 is open sourced and anybody can continue to improve it, though it is already very secure and lightweight. Adobe itself has encouraged the use of this software as the best alternative.
Adobe Flash Player is dead in the water. It is outdated, not secure, and always seems to be at risk of being hacked. Software and games that use the flash player will soon have other programs that will take its place, if it hasn't happened already.
Should I download it?
No, we do not recommend downloading Adobe Flash Player. Since Adobe announced that it will no longer be updating the flash player, there is no reason to continue to install older versions as there are safer, more secure, and better-performing options. Times have changed and software has far surpassed what Flash is capable of.