Google Details Plans to Start Blocking Flash in Chrome This Year

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Google Details Plans to Start Blocking Flash in Chrome This Year
Highlights
  • Flash Player will run on Chrome only on click-to-play basis.
  • Google wants all websites to use HTML5 instead.
  • To avoid over-prompting, ten most used websites have been white-listed.

In a bid to get more developers to adopt HTML5, Google has announced plans to slowly phase out support for Adobe Flash Player in Chrome. The company looks to implement this change by the fourth quarter, after which Flash will come bundled with Chrome but its presence will not be advertised by default.

It will instead promote HTML5 which provides faster load times and consumes less power. So if any website offers an HTML5 experience, it will be made as the default experience. As many sites still use Flash, Google is not completely blocking it, but is nonetheless discouraging it. If a site absolutely cannot work without Flash Player, then Google will prompt its users to run the plug-in for that domain only.

Google states that Chrome will also keep a track of the domains that the user manually opted for Flash, and open it automatically in subsequent visits. Furthermore, Google has named the ten most used websites that run Flash, and has white-listed them to avoid over-prompting. The names of some of the white-list websites are YouTube, Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon, Yandex.ru, Live.com, Mail.ru, OK.ru, VK.com and Twitch.tv. These websites will have Flash Player running without any hiccups. However this white-list expires in one year, and by the end of 2017, these websites are expected to make the switch to HTML5.

Google is also discouraging the download of Flash Player, by trapping links that redirect to the download page. Some sites like Pandora ask the user to download Flash Player by redirecting them to Adobe's installation page. Once the user clicks on the download link, Chrome will intercept the request, cancel the navigation, and instead present an 'Allow Flash Player' yellow infobar on top. This is merely done in an attempt to get the user to rethink before using Flash.

For Enterprise users, Chrome will enable a setting that gives the option to "Always run Flash content", for all intranet sites that may use Flash. Even though Google is doing all it takes to get rid of Flash, there are quite a few creative, interactive and gaming sites that use Flash heavily and changing them to HTML 5 now, would be a deep tedious task. Chrome may run Flash on click-to-play basis to discourage its use, but the Web isn't getting rid of Flash just yet.
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Tasneem Akolawala When not expelling tech wisdom, Tasneem feeds on good stories that strike on all those emotional chords. She loves road trips, a good laugh, and interesting people. She binges on movies, sitcoms, food, books, and DIY videos. More
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