We've known for a few years now that Adobe Flash is on its way out, with Adobe planning to end support for at the end of this year. As a send off, Flash got one last update this week, ending an era.
The patch began rolling out on the 8th of December, marking the final update for Flash outside of Mainland China. As part of the update, Adobe had the following to say:
“Today marks the final scheduled release of Flash Player for all regions outside of Mainland China. We want to take a moment to thank all of our customers and developers who have used and created amazing Flash Player content over the last two decades. We are proud that Flash had a crucial role in evolving web content across animation, interactivity, audio, and video. We are excited to help lead the next era of digital experiences.”
As of the 31st of December 2020, Adobe will no longer support the Flash Player and will block Flash content from running on the player starting on the 12th of January 2021. At this point, Adobe “strongly recommends” that users uninstall Flash Player from their systems to avoid security problems, as Adobe does not plan on issuing any more security patches.
This end-of-life transition has been in the works for a long time. Back in 2015, Adobe began urging developers to move away from Flash and switch to newer technologies, like HTML 5. Then in 2017, the end-of-life date for Flash was officially announced.
Flash was hugely popular in the early days of internet videos and thousands of videos and games that still rely on it. Those are being preserved and archived in several places, including The Internet Archive. There are also emulation efforts underway to ensure old media doesn't get lost to time, like Blue Maxima.
KitGuru Says: As a teenager, I spent a lot of time on sites like Newgrounds playing Flash games, some of which I still think back on to this day. Adobe Flash reaching end-of-life status is the end of an era but fortunately, there are archival efforts so the memories won't be lost to time.