Steve Jobs was right: Adobe will kill Flash by 2020

By

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.
Photo: Adobe

Adobe is ready to call it quits on its once-omnipresent plugin that has helped powered internet browsers for over a decade. 

Flash is finally ready to die.

It’s been over seven years since Steve Jobs penned his open letter on why Flash sucks for mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad. It took the entire industry a few years to take Apple’s lead in supporting open source technologies like HTML5, but the writing has been on the wall for years.

In its announcement today, Adobe says that open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past several years, providing most of the capabilities and functionalities as Flash (without the downsides of security risks and battery drain).

The slow death of Flash

Critics and technology companies have panned the risks of using Flash for years. Walt Mossberg famously told Adobe’s CEO in 2011 that Flash sucks on Android. Adobe then killed Mobile Flash at the end of that year.

As part of its plan to phase out Flash over the next three years, Adobe says its working with Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla to collaborate on phasing the technology out.

In a statement relaying the news of Flash’s death to developers, Apple doesn’t sound too sad to see the plugin’s demise:

“Apple users have been experiencing the web without Flash for some time. iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch never supported Flash. For the Mac, the transition from Flash began in 2010 when Flash was no longer pre-installed. Today, if users install Flash, it remains off by default. Safari requires explicit approval on each website before running the Flash plugin.”