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Chrome 45 To Automatically Block Auto-Playing Flash Ads

Starting with the next version of Chrome from the stable channel (v.45), which should be released on September 1, Google's browser will begin automatically pausing auto-playing Flash ads.

Auto-playing Flash ads consume more battery life, as they require significant processing power for them to run and can also slow down web page loading. These are two of the main benefits Google mentioned when it announced the new Chrome 45 feature.

Flash has also been in the news recently for having some significant code vulnerabilities that were so bad it even prompted Mozilla to block all Flash content by default for a few days, until Adobe released a patch.

Steve Jobs said years ago that Flash uses too much battery life, requires too much performance to even be practical for mobile use and is also a major security risk. Since then there has been a major push to replace Flash with HTML5 content, although the transition has been quite slow. After the recent security vulnerabilities, though, more companies seem interested in putting the final nails in Flash's coffin.

Amazon has also recently announced that it will ban Flash ads from its websites:

"Beginning September 1, 2015, Amazon no longer accepts Flash ads on Amazon.com, AAP, and various IAB standard placements across owned and operated domains.This is driven by recent browser setting updates from Google Chrome, and existing browser settings from Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari, that limits Flash content displayed on web pages. This change ensures customers continue to have a positive, consistent experience across Amazon and its affiliates, and that ads displayed across the site function properly for optimal performance."

With major companies that have a great impact on the web -- such as Google, Amazon, Apple and Mozilla -- all determined to finally kill Flash, this time it may just happen, and relatively soon.

Google warned advertisers to convert their Flash ads to HTML5 by September 1. Those who use Google's Adwords platform will see their newly uploaded Flash ads automatically converted to HTML5. However, advertisers should also try to identify whether all of their ads are eligible for automatic conversion. If they aren't, the advertisers should use Google's other Adwords tools to create HTML5 ads.

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  • epobirs
    Good, this should help resolve some of the conflict between those desiring better performance and security and those dependent on ads to make their site financially viable. There will still be security issues but one channel will be eliminated.
    Reply
  • synphul
    It's about time. Unfortunate that companies have to take such drastic measures but flash really is tired and outdated and in addition to being a security risk is grossly inefficient. There's no reason to use such antiquated programming when something much more efficient is available. Ads are annoying enough, the usually get loading priority over content and on slower connections it really is a bandwidth hog. For those who have limited internet bandwidth it's posing a cost to web surfers in the form of data use that is completely unnecessary. Most animated ads remind me of the old html 'blink' tags used in text anyway, it's annoying. Flash is a huge resource suck and needs to die off in peace.
    Reply
  • jigawatt
    Sweet... now let's take on the annoying timed overlays that can't be closed... or just all overlays altogether. It isn't cool seeing something essentially hijack your viewing with nothing that you can do about it.
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    I saw this coming from a mile away. HTML5 can play the same annoying videos as flash(I know because I have flash disabled).

    Steve Jobs was more after killing all the free flash games that would reduce app store sales.

    Some users have actually reported lower battery life in HTML5 videos(I have not personally tested this).
    Reply
  • pasow
    It's about time. Unfortunate that companies have to take such drastic measures but flash really is tired and outdated and in addition to being a security risk is grossly inefficient. There's no reason to use such antiquated programming when something much more efficient is available. Ads are annoying enough, the usually get loading priority over content and on slower connections it really is a bandwidth hog. For those who have limited internet bandwidth it's posing a cost to web surfers in the form of data use that is completely unnecessary. Most animated ads remind me of the old html 'blink' tags used in text anyway, it's annoying. Flash is a huge resource suck and needs to die off in peace.

    well i hate to break your joy, ad developer here (i hate my job some times), as HTML5 ad's don't have the low file size restrictions that Flash had. on average, our Flash ads were only 40KB's while the new speck for HTML5 is 200KB's. also much of the library's we used for the more advanced flash ads are available in HTML5 which means, nothings changing when it comes to animations. the only thing were loosing is a file size restriction from a decade ago, the ability to compress complex images well, and everything's running at your refresh rate rather than 18-24fps.
    Reply
  • thundervore
    I'm surprised this is only a "flash Ads" thing and not a all Ads thing.

    I personally refuse to use the web browser on my phone because of annoying ads that take up the whole screen but leaves you with such a tiny close box there is a 90% chance you still click on the Ad when trying to close it. I wont even touch on Ad words or Word Sense that seems to turn every third word into a link, If you try to scroll the screen, chances are you will tap on a link and be redirected from your page.

    I'm done, I refuse to use any browser unless I can install Adblock,. That solves the security and battery performance issue :)
    Reply
  • Quixit
    Auto-playing Flash ads are the reason I totally removed flash.

    Guess what, it doesn't cause any issues at all.
    Reply
  • synphul
    Personally I run adblocker anyway so I'm not overly affected either. In general flash is antiquated. In many cases it's a resource hog as studies have shown with the reduced battery life and poor bandwidth utilization. It was discussed years ago when youtube was originally talking about moving away from flash and on to html5. There are more perks to html5 like seo usage which is important especially in page ranking and advertising. Flash isn't seo friendly in that regard.

    http://thenextweb.com/dd/2014/04/19/rip-flash-html5-will-take-video-web-year/

    It just needs to go. We all cried, but we all eventually gave up our atari 2600's, 8 tracks and time to do the same for flash. No joy broken here, the bandwidth reduction is precisely why youtube dumped flash. They reduced buffering of video content by 50-80% and got a 35% bandwidth reduction with better video quality.

    http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/421827/scitech/technology/youtube-dumps-flash-adopts-html5-as-default-video-format
    Reply
  • uglyduckling81
    @thundervore You could just run Dolphin browser like me. It has addons like Adblock Plus so you never see an Ad while browsing the Internet. I have stopped using the Youtube app because of ads, I just watch Youtube through Dolphin with no ads as well. Firefox also has ad ons and works with adblock plus. I find it's a bit of an unstable browser though, crashes from time to time while Dolphin does not.
    Reply
  • Christopher1
    Flash is the only thing that works for online browser games, even including HTML5 unless the games are VERY simple.
    What we need is a new version of Flash, that leaves out backwards compatibility and makes companies rewrite their applications to work with the new Flash.
    Reply