​Chrome to block Flash for analytics as of September

Starting this September, Google's Chrome will begin to block Flash in favour of HTML5 for behind the scenes analytics.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Google has announced its Chrome browser will begin blocking Adobe Flash Player next month, citing the lag in browsing experience as the reason.

"Today, more than 90 percent of Flash on the web loads behind the scenes to support things like page analytics. This kind of Flash slows you down," Google said in a blog post.

The "de-emphasising" of Flash will begin with the September Chrome 53 release and in December, Google expects Chrome 55 will default to HTML5.

"Flash helped make the web a rich, dynamic experience, and shaped the modern set of web standards," Google said. "We continue to work closely with Adobe to ensure that your web experience is as fast and secure as possible and to help the web transition to HTML5."

If a user is viewing a site which only supports Flash, they will be prompted to enable Flash upon first visit, similar to the way Chrome 42 implemented a click-to-play method for Flash video content last September.

"This had an immediate, positive impact for our users by improving page load times and saving battery power." The company said.

Google has previously described its shift away from Flash as a means of reducing Chrome's impact on battery life and performance on laptops. Since 2014, the search giant has offered free tools to convert Flash ads to HTML5 and last year began automatically converting Flash ads to HTML5, a move designed to help advertisers reach smartphones that do not support Flash.

Google's shift in plugin support follows similar moves by other browser makers, with Firefox disabling plugin activation by default for all plugins except Flash in 2013.

Similarly, Safari 10 on macOS now sees Apple's default browser hide information on legacy plugins, and attempt to render content via HTML5 alternatives. By default, websites are not be able to tell if Safari has Flash, Java, Silverlight, and QuickTime installed from the navigator.plugins and navigator.mimeTypes properties.

Both YouTube and Facebook have moved entirely to HTML5 for video on their respective social media platforms.

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