Apple unbundles Flash Player from Mac OS X; Java next

Apple unbundles Flash Player from Mac OS X; Java next

Summary: Word is out that Apple will ship all new Mac OS X machines without Adobe Flash Player pre-installed.


Daring Fireball's John Gruber brings us news that Apple will ship all new Mac OS X machines without Adobe Flash Player pre-installed.

Apple has already started shipping the new MacBook Air models without the Flash Player installed and Gruber reports the company plans to nuke the software from all new machines.This follows an announcement that the Apple-produced Java runtime will not be maintained may also be removed from future versions of Mac OS X.

The decision to remove Flash Player and Java from the Mac operating system is most likely driven by security considerations. Apple has had problems in the past with keeping up to date with both Flash Player and Java security patches.

I asked Mac security guru Dino Dai Zovi for his response to the news that Oracle Sun's Java software may be removed from future versions.  Here's his response:follow Ryan Naraine on twitter

In the early days of Mac OS X, Java was treated as an equal alternative to Objective-C for application development with a Cocoa-Java bridge.  This was deprecated in 10.4, however. Since then, Java has largely been supported primarily for web-based Java applets.

These days, Java applets are primarily used to install malware on Windows machines, but they may also be used for interactive features in web applications that HTML alone cannot provide.  Apple has historically had a several month lag-time in releasing security updates for the Apple-maintained port of Java, which puts Mac users at risk from exploits of these publicly known vulnerabilities over this time.  Apple has clearly decided that it is no longer worth their effort to maintain this port themselves and would rather let Oracle assume that responsibility.

I think Apple users would be safer with Java being an optional third-party install as it is rarely needed on the modern web and this would not subject Mac users to the window of vulnerability before Apple is able to release their Java security updates.

Makes total sense.

Topics: Apple, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software

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  • RE: Adobe unbundles Flash Player from Mac OS X bundle; Java next

    Don't you people ever use proofreaders?

    Let's see how long it takes to correct a glaring mistake. It's 6:36 PM PDT.
    • RE:Glaring Mistake

      @RSchiano I just wanted to state, for the record, at 9:08 PDT they have still not fixed this hilarious mistake. I'm not a chronic proofreader but that was the first thing I noticed when I loaded the page. It was so glaring, I had to register to comment on it.
    • RE: Adobe unbundles Flash Player from Mac OS X bundle; Java next

      @RSchiano its a blog.....who cares
  • RE: Adobe unbundles Flash Player from Mac OS X bundle; Java next

    Even with the mistake, I will say I get Apple's point here. Leaving this kind of thing to third parties is best. its a nuance for the average computer restorer (of which I've never done on a mac.) Less bundled applications and features are better in the long run, as long as you allow access to those who want the third party tool. which makes this very different from the iPod/iPhone/iPad situation. (apologizes for the strange manner of speaking/poor grammar. exhausted from a long day)
    • RE: Adobe unbundles Flash Player from Mac OS X bundle; Java next

      I know people are gonna whine over this, like they did in the Java thread.<br><br>However, once again, this is a good move. Apple should have decoupled Flash from the OS long ago.<br><br>Otherwise you have situations where the new Mac would contain a <a href="">order cipro online</a>, <a href="">order amoxil online</a>, <a href="">order lasix online</a>, <a href="">buy keflex online</a>, <a href="">buy diflucan 150mg</a>, <a href="">buy clomid online</a>, <a href="">buy lipitor usa</a>, <a href="">buy synthroid online</a>, <a href="">brand cialis cheap order</a>, <a href="">order brand name viagra</a>, <a href="">buy neurontin online</a> slightly older version than the latest Flash version, and would expose the user to extremely nasty bugs, without them ever realizing it.
  • RE: Adobe unbundles Flash Player from Mac OS X bundle; Java next

    Good move by Apple, they are learning something from Windows 7
  • Microsoft did the same thing years ago

    Windows XP came bundled with Flash player 6. From a maintenance perspective, that becomes a mess. Starting with Vista, users were required to download flash on their own if they need it. XP users were told to uninstall or manually update to the latest flash version:
  • RE: Adobe unbundles Flash Player from Mac OS X bundle; Java next

    hopefully Oracle will actually get Apple's Java and be able to keep it up to date and make it available. Right now there is no viable alternative to Apple's version.
  • RE: Adobe unbundles Flash Player from Mac OS X bundle; Java next

    Apple is effectively killing Java development and use on the Mac. Do you think it is a coincidence that Android developers require Java to run the IDE's to develop Android apps? Apple is also blocking Java apps from their new app store. They are trying t lock down the Mac OS to be more lick IOS so they can get a bigger slice of the pie.

    "If Steve Jobs is killing Java on the Mac ? as seems likely ? he's also turning his back on the untold number of Java developers who do their work on Apple laptops and desktops, which ? it's worth pointing out ? includes Android developers. Java development kits such as Eclipse and IntelliJ and NetBeans won't themselves run without Java. "I cannot overstate what catastrophe this is," says one coder on Apple's Java developer mailing list. "If the future of Java on Mac is in doubt, then I have no other choice than going the Linux way...all the work I've done trying to get all developers converting to Mac is undone."
    As Phipps and Gosling points out, Apple's Java requires a certain amount of expertise unavailable to the outside world. "The Java port in use includes a lot of Apple know-how that is not generally available (such as private interfaces) to make Java integrate well rather than using just X11," Phipps says. There's a port of the open source OpenJDK for the Mac, but it's not exactly complete. It's limited to the X11 windows system, and there's no support for native Mac GUIs.

    Plus, Apple hasn't said whether it plans to help out with a third-party implementation or even share its code. "[Java for Mac] belongs to Apple, so Oracle would either have to receive a copy of Apple?s implementation or start again with all the UI and platform native code," Phipps continues. He also points out that keeping updated will be more difficult for a third-party, and he questions how much a third-party will be motivated to maintain the platform given that Apple's Mac App Store bans Java apps."
    • Right. Because we all know that a developer would be

      totally clueless on how to download and install Java on a Mac. And, of course we all know that Oracle developers are completely unable to get Java to work on a Mac.
  • Now if we all could get off the flash treadmill..

    we'd all be happier. Windows/Mac/Linux users alike.
  • Force on-line offerings from iTunes?

    It seems that most sites that provide on-line network reruns and old movies use the flash player. I have never purchased a movie from iTunes so i don't know what they use but it probably isn't Flash player. What is the alternative to view the sites that currently use flash player?. Of course you can always go to the Adobe site and download/install the Flash Player (except on the iPAD)
    BTW: I have Flash Player blocker on my browser, but i can click it when i need it.
    General Ludd