Google to block non-essential Adobe Flash content on Sept 1, but will continue autoplaying important videos
Starting September 1, 2015, Google will stop some Flash content from automatically playing in a move to better browser performance that was decided earlier this year.
Still largely used for multimedia content, Flash made by Adobe Systems has been facing performance and security issues that has made Google take this decision. The recent discovery of Flash zero-day susceptibilities has led to browsers such as Firefox blocking all Flash content, and seeing major websites such as Twitch making the jump to HTML5. Also, the susceptibilities in Flash are one of the most common ways that malware ends up on computers.
Moving forward, Google’s Chrome browser will automatically freeze Flash files that are not important. This means that you will have to click on the files you wish to see so that you can manually enable them, otherwise they will be frozen by default.
Earlier this year, Google announced that they would auto-pause unnecessary Flash content on websites viewed in its Chrome browser, but allow other content such as videos to autoplay. The users will need to adjust the browser’s settings to automatically play content requiring a Flash plugin. It also said that Flash can drain a user’s laptop battery faster.
According to Google, “In June, we announced that Chrome will begin pausing many Flash ads by default to improve performance for users. This change is scheduled to start rolling out on September 1, 2015.”
In recent years, Adobe has taken measures to improve Flash’s security with code reviews and faster updates, and still is a widely used attack vector.
The tech giant said that the change will take effect from Sept. 1 for its Chrome browsers. Google already converts Flash-based advertising content to HTML5, which does not require additional software plugins to allow certain types of videos to be played remotely in Web browsers.
The company is also encouraging advertisers who are uploading ads to its Display Network to make sure that their ads can be converted to HTML5.
However, the unusual thing is that Adobe’s programmers were being helped by security engineers from Google to support Flash against attacks from hackers.