Back in 1996, Macromedia brought out Flash Player, which was later acquired by Adobe. This multimedia player was initially created to show vector animations in two dimensions but ended up becoming the favorite support for developers to create web applications that also included audio, video and interactive elements. Its main advantage regarding its competitors is that it allowed us to reduce the bandwidth necessary and, therefore, the loading time of all these applications.
The plug-in to play multimedia web contents that was almost a must.
It was an extension that was almost always present on any web browser, as its SWF format also became standard thanks to its mass use in web design. However, SWF and Adobe Flash Player (Chrome, Firefox & Opera) itself are no longer so popular, with plenty of controversy about their security and privacy, the reason for which HTML5 is now the new in-thing. In fact, all major web browsers are killing off support for this format.
Main features of Flash Player
This extension available for web browsers like Chrome, Opera or Firefox offered the possibility to play multimedia contents and came along with the following features:
- Possibility to play multimedia contents, videos, and applications such as games on screens and browsers.
- New options for application developers, such as hardware acceleration, the use of vector data, support for advanced text or dynamic sound generation.
- Greater privacy controls by means of local storage management.
Controversy with developers
The technology developed by Adobe has helped to boost the multimedia side of the Internet for many years. Sites like YouTube or other video or online gaming webs have taken advantage of this platform to bring their content to any browser.
Nevertheless, over the last few years, several controversies have appeared concerning Flash vulnerabilities and how the latter could be exploited by cybercriminals to gain remote access to a computer. Thus, companies like Mozilla or Google withdrew the support from their browsers (Firefox and Chrome) joining others that had already left Flash to one side.
The arrival of HTML5 seems to have doomed it once and for all, as this web development language integrates tags with codecs in its code to play multimedia elements making it unnecessary to install browser plug-ins.
What's new in the latest version
- Bug fixes and security improvements.