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Adobe Flash is finally dead in latest Safari Technology Preview

Adobe Flash
Adobe Flash (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has released a new update for Safari Technology Preview.
  • In the latest release, Adobe Flash will no longer be supported.
  • It marks the final death of Adobe Flash, some 10 years after Apple first made the decision not to pre-install it on the Mac.

Adobe Flash is no longer supported in the latest release of Safari Technology Preview, marking its final death on the platform.

Waaaay back in 2010, Apple made the decision not to pre-load Adobe Flash player onto the Mac. It has never truly embraced Flash for macOS, even after installing it, Flash remained off by default and Safari required explicit approval for each website before running the Flash Plugin. iPhone, iPad, and iPod have never supported Flash.

Back in 2017, Adobe announced that it would end-of-life Flash by the end of 2020 and that it would encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to new open formats in the meantime.

Now, as reported by ZDNet, the latest release of Safari Technology Preview has pulled the plug on Flash once and for all. Safari Technology Preview was introduced in 2016 and lets users get an early look at upcoming web technologies for macOS and iOS, a lot like a beta program. According to the release notes of Preview 99:

Legacy Plug-InsRemoved support for Adobe Flash

The rest of the update is just bug fixes and performance enhancement.

There can be no doubt that the decision of Apple and Steve Jobs in 2010 to move away from Flash towards HTML 5 was a massive turning point in Adobe Flash's fortunes. Had Apple chosen to include Flash on its iOS devices, or even perhaps be more open to the prospect of it on macOS, things might have turned out differently. In April 2010, Steve Jobs issued a letter titled Thoughts on Flash (opens in new tab) in which he explained Apple's decision not to do this. Basically, he thought it was rubbish across the board. He highlighted; the closed nature of the system, which clashed with Apple's vision of open standards for the web, the fact that nearly all the content that needed Flash was also available in more modern formats, reliability, security, performance, battery life, the fact it was designed for a mouse and not touch screens and the fact that Adobe wanted developers to use Flash to create apps for iOS. So yeah, everything.

In conclusion, he said:

New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.

Stephen Warwick
Stephen Warwick

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.

1 Comment
  • Done about a decade later that it should've been. Flash got pretty bad once Adobe bought it, they tried to turn it into some sort of "it does everything" product, and what we got was a jack of all trades and master of none. I'm very glad that despite all the complaints and anger over Apple not adding Flash to the iPhone, they never caved in