A Brief History of the Flash
(Not the DC Comics speedster, but the impeccably versatile software that has taken the world of the Internet by storm.)
During the days of the Netscape 2.0 Web browser, people who have just started to enjoy the perks the Internet provided were simply amazed at the stunning graphics and fancy animations made possible by a plug-in known as FutureSplash. This little software plug-in came to life as a drawing program, known as SmartSketch, for the operating system PenPaint. When the operating system failed, SmartSketch was redesigned to become an instrumental animation tool, and then rebranded to become the FutureSplash Animator, which was used on the Netscape 2.0 Web browser. FutureSplash was developed to work on multiple platforms, paving the way to what we now refer to as Adobe Flash.
In 1996, the tech company Macromedia bought FutureSplash and renamed it to Flash. For years, we referred to the software as Macromedia Flash, until 2005 when another company bought the rights to the software. This company was Adobe. Around this time, the Flash plug-in started to gain prominence all over the web.
Over a short span of time, as Web designers began to discover the versatility of the program and how Adobe Flash has allowed them to come up with a variety of designing aspects to develop a website without using too much bandwidth, the use of the Flash plug-in has skyrocketed and has elevated our web browsing experience to the next level, especially when the most successful video sharing website, YouTube, was launched.
The Prominence and Success of the Adobe Flash
The success of YouTube and the various video sharing websites that followed suit have played a major role in the popularity of Adobe Flash. The truth of the matter is there is only one reason why Flash has gained prominence over the years; the Flash Player. During the mid 1990s, when most people accessed the Internet through dial-up connections running at speeds of 14 to 28Kbps, file size was everything. Flash Player provided decent quality videos at under 1Mb in file size. These days it’s nothing, but in the early days of the Internet and Web browsing, 1Mb was a huge difference.
The conception of the Flash was rooted on idea that people browsing the Web can download videos in less than a minute. At the time, Macromedia Flash was the perfect solution to the file size issue. Today, virtually every individual with desktop and laptop computers, and even mobile devices across all platforms, has Flash Player installed in their systems. That’s 700 million people or around 97.8% of everyone on Earth who’s connected to the Internet, whether their system is running on Mac, Linux, or Windows.
Where the Future Lies for Adobe Flash
With the advent of a new kind of Web experience known as the Web 2.0, the Flash plug-in software has become more important than ever, which is what one might expect. However, unlike in the past decade, Adobe Flash now has some competition to contend with. Web 2.0 brings about the dawn of a new age of Web experience, and with it comes new technologies, new software development concepts, and new innovative ideas.
The most well-known competition Adobe Flash is facing, especially on mobile platforms, is HTML5. Given that Adobe Flash is not supported by one of the leading mobile platforms—Apple’s iOS—Adobe’s Flash Player is facing some serious competition in the mobile industry. Today, Adobe has stopped developing the Flash plug-ins that run on mobile devices. This realm is now dominated by the HTML5 core technology markup language for Web 2.0.
Why Download Adobe Flash Player?
Although it has not received similar success on mobile platforms, Adobe Flash is still quite significant when it comes to desktops and laptop computers that run on Windows, Mac OS, Solaris, and Linux. It can also be applied to various popular web browsers like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.
Today’s version of the Adobe Flash Player is much more than just your typical player. It is capable of delivering great quality HD video, faster graphics rendering, and optimum performance across various platforms.
The following are some of the top features you can enjoy when you install Adobe Flash Player on your computer:
- Native 64-bit Support – Flash Player is compatible with 64-bit Web browsers and 64-bit operating systems installed on Mac OS, Windows, and Linux platforms.
- Multi-threading Video Recording – Real-time interactive video delivery and enhanced live streaming with features like improved playback performance and increased frame rates on videos with massive bit rate content.
- Stage 3D Accelerated Graphics Rendering – Experience the new architecture for high-performance 2D/3D GPU accelerated graphics rendering by Adobe, offering low-level Stage 3D APIs for advanced application rendering.
- Improved Mouse Controls and Relative Coordinates – you can now create highly atmospheric games for various modes of content, including first-person games that benefit from mouse lock, infinite scrolling, relative mouse coordinates, as well as middle- and right-click actions.
Adobe Flash is a plug-in that is light yet powerful; very beneficial to software development companies and almost every Internet user and gamer. But it remains completely free and essential to almost every platform. The future of Adobe Flash in mobile devices may be bleak and uncertain, but there is no denying the fact that this versatile software has given us years of awesome and exciting Web browsing experience.