Google to make ‘HTML5 by default’ for Chrome instead of Flash by Fall

Google has just announced that it is beginning to phase out Flash support in its Chrome browser as default. The Google developers in a Google Groups thread named “Intent to implement: HTML5 by Default,” have announced initial plans to implement a new feature in the Chromium core that will disable the playback of Flash content by default and use HTML5 instead, if available.

The feature is scheduled to ship with Chromium builds from the 4th quarter of 2016, which is when Chrome will stop advertising support for the Flash player.

“If a site offers an HTML5 experience, this change will make that the primary experience,” Anthony LaForge, Technical Program Manager at Google, has explained. “We will continue to ship Flash Player with Chrome, and if a site truly requires Flash, a prompt will appear at the top of the page when the user first visits that site, giving them the option of allowing it to run for that site.”

However, Chrome will load the newer technology by default for sites where HTML5 video is offered alongside Flash. Where Flash Player is the only option for viewing content on a site, users will need to actively switch it on for individual sites. Enterprise Chrome users will also have the option of switching Flash off altogether.

But, there will be a few exceptions to this policy, with Google planning to leave Flash enabled by default on the top 10 domains that depend on the plugin. This list includes YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and Amazon. Even this reprieve is temporary. The list will be reviewed on a regular basis, and is set to expire after 12 months.

It is not a surprise to know that Google is distancing from Flash. Infact, Adobe itself has been moving away from Flash, while Microsoft’s Edge browser has started freezing Flash within its browser.

A spokesperson for Adobe said it was working with Google in its goal of “an industry-wide transition to Open Web standards,” including the adoption of HTML5.

“At the same time, given that Flash continues to be used in areas such as education, web gaming and premium video, the responsible thing for Adobe to do is to continue to support Flash with updates and fixes, as we help the industry transition,” Adobe added. “Looking ahead, we encourage content creators to build with new web standards.”

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