Adobe in 2017 announced that they will stop all support for the flash player plug-in by 2020. In line with the announcement, both Microsoft and Google decided they will disable the plug-in by default. We’re like a month away before the year ends, which makes Adobe Flash officially dead.
Though unfortunate, Adobe’s announcement wasn’t really a shocker. The late Steve Jobs had said this would happen. He didn’t think Adobe Flash would continue because it was created for the PC era. When it comes to mobile devices, however, Flash easily fell out of place for the following reasons:
- Battery life
- The “full web”
- Reliability, security, and performance
- Sub-standardized quality of third-party development tools
What Exactly is Flash?
Flash is a platform for multimedia software used to create apps, games, and animations. Flash animations and graphics are viewed in a browser by way of Flash Player and Adobe AIR, along with some third-party programs used for viewing mobile and desktop apps.
For years, it has been noticeable that the web has been leaving Flash behind as browser-based programs, such as WebGL, HTML5, and WebAssembly have become more popular. People didn’t even think twice about preferring these programs over Flash because there was no need for a third-party plugin, which Flash requires. With open-source tech, you were often left vulnerable because anyone can look at source codes and find something to exploit for their benefit.
Plugins like Flash, the ancient Java browser plugin, and the long-gone Silverlight operate under a closed source development model they were maintained by one entity alone that seeded all fixes and updates.
Over the last decade, Flash has managed to somewhat damage its rep because of major security issues, most of them being zero-day exploits that put people in a lot of trouble.
Apple became a huge force to make Flash a thing of the past when the company decided not to include support for Flash on iOS. To replace Flash video containers, HTML5 was used. As for Google, the search giant decided that it was a good idea to make Chrome users make Flash run in a sandbox. Later, the company eventually blocked it and refused to index pages with any Flash on them.
Very few websites still use Flash in 2020. But what does this mean for the many interactive games and animations that contributed to the fun of the internet at the turn of the millennium?
Playing Flash With BlueMaxima Flashpoint
Since we’re already sure that Flash will cease to exist soon, it’s clear that there aren’t too many options for Playing old Flash files. For gamers though, an option would be BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint software, which is a web archive project and Flash player rolled into one.
Downloading Flashpoint will give you access to thousands and thousands of old Flash games on your PC without the need for a browser. And it’s also completely free of charge.
To use Flashpoint, download one of their available Flashpoint packages. You will want to get Flashpoint Infinity, which will download games as you want to play them with only roughly 300MB file size. Or you could get the full Flashpoint Ultimate package, which is a whopping 300GB. This has the whole thing — the entire archive of Flash games that Flashpoint has to offer. And the best thing is, you can play them offline.
Emulating Flash Online With Ruffle
If you’re not so much into Flash games, another option would be the Ruffle Flash emulator to run other types of Flash media content. This means you can run old SWF Flash files in your browser, replacing Flash entirely.
There’s no need to worry about Chrome support for Flash being halted with Ruffle. The program converts anything Flash into a format that’s easy on the web. There’s an online Ruffle demo emulator if you want to try Ruffle out. It includes a demo Flash game and you can also upload your SWF files to use and play.
Can You Still Use Adobe Flash Player in 2020?
Yes, you still can. Adobe may have dropped support for Flash, but you can still download Flash Player as a standalone player for your Mac or PC. For SWF Flash files to work on your device without a browser, first you have to download the Flash Player projector content debugger from Adobe.
There’s a non-maintained Adobe support page at the moment. You should go check it out and click the prompt that says “Download the Flash Player projector content debugger. Then run the file.
Note that this Adobe Flash Player option is self-contained, so there’s no need for you to install it. Simply run the file. In the Adobe Flash Player window, click File then Open. choose your SWF Flash file in the Open box. You can use a web address link or click Browse to run an SWF file from your computer.
This player should load and run your content. It should do once Chrome and other browsers stop support for it.
Goodbye, Flash Player!
While yes, you technically still can play Adobe Flash content in 2020, it’s as good as dead, you know, considering all support for it has stopped. It’s high time all of us move from Flash and fully accept HTML5. But hey, there’s a few weeks left until 2021, so enjoy your ancient games while you still can.
For gamers who want to hold on to their Flash memories for quite longer, you’ll need to download older Flash games if you want to keep playing them past 2020.