Google is trying again to kill off Flash with plans to block Adobe’s catastrophically insecure browser plug-in in favour of HTML5, wherever possible, when Chome 53 is released next month.
Where no HTML5 alternative is available, users will be asked whether they wish to enable Flash for the duration of their visit to a website. In other words, Google is making Flash ‘click to play’ in a bid to cut off a common browser attack vector.
Google said: “Today, more than 90 per cent 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.”
Meanwhile, the company’s advertising arm has already stopped accepting adverts that use Flash and will kill them off in January 2017.
Adobe is working towards retiring Flash but has repeatedly pointed out that it won’t happen overnight, despite the ridiculous number of security holes.
For its part, Google is keen to point out the company’s ongoing relationship with Adobe. “Flash helped make the web a rich, dynamic experience, and shaped the modern set of web standards,” the firm said.
“We continue to work closely with Adobe to ensure that your web experience is as fast and secure as possible and to help the web transition to HTML5.”
One major player that will be affected by this change is the BBC, as the iPlayer service on the web still relies on Flash.
The corporation confirmed to us in a statement: “We launched our HTML5 player in October 2015, a first step toward making it our default. When Chrome (and other browsers) stop supporting the Flash plug-in, users will automatically be served the HTML5 player when accessing BBC iPlayer.”
In other words, it will eventually be the default. But in the meantime it will be business as usual, although it is implied that the HTML5 player remains a work in progress.