It’s official – by the end of the year, HTML5 will be the primary viewing experience in Chrome when it comes to video and graphics. All websites, except the white list of 10 sites that will still run Adobe’s Flash Player will, by default, use HTML5 unless you tell them differently. Flash will still be lurking in the background but, say Google, its presence will not be advertised as a matter of course.
If a website offers HTML5, then you may find you are not prompted to run Flash but if the Adobe program is needed, you will be prompted to accept at the top of the page. Google say that preferences will be ‘remembered’, but they are not looking at this as a long-term view.
Why the change?
Flash was once critical for rich media sites on the web but has been sidelined of late by HTML5. It has emerged as a serious competitor, yet even more so with the backing of giants like Google and other major players.
HTML5 provides, some say, a far better viewing experience, with faster load times, better quality output and with a lower power consumption. Earlier in the year, Google stated that from June 30th, it would block the upload of display ads with Flash in both AdWords and DoubleClick Digital Marketing.
It is also set to make other moves to reduce the role of the player too. Some say, that Flash’s vulnerabilities have made this an inevitable move as its users have, in the past, been exposed to various threats and breaches.
The end of Flash?
You could be forgiven that with the might of Google pushing against it, as a media player, Flash would disappear without trace. But this is not the case. In late 2014, Adobe Systems said it would offer tools for developing HTML5 whilst continuing to support Flash content until, it said, open standards like HTML5 have matured.
And as a media player, Flash is still the vehicle of choice in the gaming world and in the case of premium video too where these new standards have yet to reach any kind of mature status.
Google say that the white list of 10 sites, such as Facebook.com and Amazon.com, will continue for a year or so, with websites leaving the list when they no longer need Flash, depending entirely on HTML5.