Apple finally ends Safari support for Adobe Flash


Adobe Flash is almost dead
Ding dong, Adobe Flash is dead. Almost.
Photo: Adobe/Cult of Mac

Adobe Flash, once a hugely popular way for web browsers to provide multimedia, is almost dead. And Apple is helping bring on the funeral by completely removing support for the Flash plugin from the latest Safari Technology Preview.

It might be difficult for young people to realize how ubiquitous the Adobe Flash Player used to be. It was the default way to play YouTube videos until 2015, for example. There were thousands of online games built in Flash. Some websites once used it to provide their complete user interface.

The long, slow death of Adobe Flash Player

Then in 2010, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs openly attacked this browser plug-in, recommending HTML5, CSS and JavaScript instead. Apple never supported this Adobe product on iPhone or iPad, and stopped pre-installing Flash on Macs in 2010. Users could install it themselves, though.

Others heaped criticism on this software too, especially security experts. They said Adobe was unable to find all the bugs in this plugin, and recommended no one install it.

Adobe finally saw the writing on the wall, and in 2017 promised to stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020.

And now Apple says it’s completely ending its connection. Prominently posted in the release notes for Safari Technology Preview 99 is the note “Removed support for Adobe Flash.” This change made in Apple’s pre-release version of its web browser will eventually trickle down to Safari for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave.

This change doesn’t affect iPhone and iPad users because these mobile devices never supported the Flash Player.