HTML5 by Default

In May, Google circulated a draft proposal to effectively kill Adobe Flash by blocking the plugin and prioritizing HTML5 by the end of the year. The company is going ahead with that plan to “de-emphasize” Flash with a staged disabling of the plug-in through multiple versions of Chrome.

Starting with Chrome 53 — currently in beta — in September, background Flash elements, like page analytics, will be blocked. Google notes that today 90% of the plug-in loads in the background and is used solely for things like analytics. This move is designed to encourage publishers and sites to switch over to HTML5 equivalents that will speed up page load and battery life. Google also notes that end users should see an improvements in responsiveness and efficiency for many sites.

The more ambitious part of the plan comes in December with Chrome 55 where HTML5 will be made the default experience. Users will have to enable the plug-in for sites that only support Flash after updating to that version. This approval only needs to be given the first time a user loads a Flash site.

The original proposal discussed a whitelist of the top 10 sites on the web that still requires Flash. Those site whitelisted by default will have a year to switch over to Flash. Google is also working on the best way to implement settings and phrasing to explain the changes to regular users.

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