Safari Finally Drops Support for Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash, a proprietary technology for rich Internet applications, is waning in popularity. Apple’s next version of Safari removes support for the antiquated technology.

By Chand Bellur

January 23, 2020 at 4:25 p.m. PDT

Apple Removing Support for Adobe Flash

It was a matter of time. Steve Jobs famously disliked Adobe Flash and correctly blamed it for most app crashes on Mac OS X. Feeling the technology was too buggy and inappropriate for mobile, he banned Flash from iOS. After a few years of criticism, the competing mobile operating system followed suit, silencing its over enthusiastic fan boys on at least one issue.

Adobe Flash’s ubiquity kept its software plugin relevant for years. Flash is still used on some websites, however, the plugin has given way to advances such as jQuery and a general expansion of the document object model.

Apple, the company that removes headphone jacks and USB ports, also deleted Flash from macOS. Future versions of Safari won’t support a Flash plugin. If you want Flash, you’ll have to use another browser.

Adobe Killing Off Flash in 2020

Apple’s removal of Flash from Safari is not a bold move. Adobe is ending support for the once-popular plugin this year. This may be the end result of Steve Jobs’ decision to block Flash from iOS.

Jobs famously felt that Adobe Flash was too defective for iOS. He was livid that it was the number one cause of crashes on the Macintosh, and committed to keeping it off Apple’s mobile platform.

The effects of this decision may have led to Flash’s demise. Rapid growth of iOS eventually led to a billion users with devices that no longer supported Flash. Virtually every website had to capitulate to Apple’s will or lose precious traffic.

For some, transitioning to Flash required completely rebuilding sites with more open technologies. Others willingly embraced a future without cumbersome and defective plugins. Most of the crashes on my Mac were due to Adobe Flash, however, iTunes was a close second.

Apple’s removal of Flash is part of the Safari Technology Preview. The change has yet to make it into macOS. It’s unclear when the update will occur, but for now, you can play Flash video on Safari. If you require Flash technology after the change, other browsers may support your need.

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