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Adobe Flash replacement

  • Published on August 4, 2017
Adobe Flash replacement

It has become increasingly important for web developers and designers to find an Adobe Flash replacement with the announcement that Adobe Flash will be fully discontinued in 2020. This announcement from Adobe impacts website owners because Flash will no longer be supported or developed after that time. There are several Adobe Flash replacement options, which we explore here.

Flash replacements for content creators

Web designers and developers who create animated and interactive content can use alternatives to Adobe Flash. One option for those who prefer to work in a visual interface is to work with Adobe Animate. This Flash animation replacement lets designers work in a visual interface, adding animations to artwork and logos which can then be output using HTML5 and CSS3 rather than the Adobe Flash format. The use of HTML5 Canvas and CSS3 can also replace many complex Flash animations, drawing, and interactivity. These can be combined with JavaScript to create more complex interactivity which then replaces ActionScript. Web designers and developers can learn Adobe Animate or take HTML5 classes to gain these skills.

Adobe Flash replacements for video

For those creating video to be posted online, shifting away from Flash for future projects makes sense, and many different codecs can be used instead of Flash. For those with existing Flash video on a site, the best option is to return to the original source video and re-encode using a different format. If this isn’t an option, the Flash video can be transcoded to another video format using tools such as Adobe Media Encoder.

Why Flash Replacements are Needed

Flash replacements are needed because Adobe is discontinuing the support of Flash and because many web browsers have stopped loading or playing Flash content. Users that wish to view Flash content must override security warning messages in most web browsers. Long before web browsers stopped supporting Flash, Steve Jobs from Apple encouraged Adobe to replace Flash as far back as 2010 as it often crashed and used excessive amounts of battery on mobile devices. To this day, security researchers and browser manufactures also criticized Flash and urged it be replaced as it continues to provide a considerable security risk.

End of the road for Adobe Flash

While Adobe Flash played an important role in allowing early video, games, and other interactive content onto the web, it is no longer needed. Apple iPhones and iPads do not support Flash, and the most widely used web browser on the desktop in the U.S., Google Chrome, disables Flash content by default. As HTML5 and CSS3 have expanded their capabilities and web developers are using them more frequently, it is time for Adobe Flash to be phased-out. The announcement from Adobe that Flash content should be replaced is the formal acknowledgment of the direction the web has taken. Flash was a technology for the early web, and is no longer needed in the modern website era in which we now operate.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics classes along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.