Deprecated multimedia platform used to add animation and interactivity to web pages
"Shockwave Flash" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Adobe Shockwave.
|Target platform(s)||Web browsers, iOS (via third-party software), Android, Windows, macOS, Linux|
|Status||Active; EOL at the end of 2020|
Adobe Flash is a deprecatedmultimediasoftware platform used for production of animations, rich Internet applications, desktop applications, mobile applications, mobile games, and embedded web browser video players. Flash displays text, vector graphics and raster graphics to provide animations, video games and applications. It allows streaming of audio and video, and can capture mouse, keyboard, microphone, and camera input. Related development platform Adobe AIR continues to be supported.
Artists may produce Flash graphics and animations using Adobe Animate (formerly known as Adobe Flash Professional). Software developers may produce applications and video games using Adobe Flash Builder, FlashDevelop, Flash Catalyst, or any text editor when used with the Apache Flex SDK.
End-users can view Flash content via Flash Player (for web browsers), AIR (for desktop or mobile apps), or third-party players such as Scaleform (for video games). Adobe Flash Player (supported on Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux) enables end-users to view Flash content using web browsers. Adobe Flash Lite enabled viewing Flash content on older smartphones, but has been discontinued and superseded by Adobe AIR.
The ActionScript programming language allows the development of interactive animations, video games, web applications, desktop applications, and mobile applications. Programmers can implement Flash software using an IDE such as Adobe Animate, Adobe Flash Builder, Adobe Director, FlashDevelop, and Powerflasher FDT. Adobe AIR enables full-featured desktop and mobile applications to be developed with Flash and published for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch.
Although Flash was previously a dominant platform for online multimedia content, it is slowly being abandoned as Adobe favors a transition to HTML5, Unity, or other platforms. Flash Player has been deprecated and has an official end-of-life on December 31, 2020. However, Adobe will continue to develop Adobe Animate, which will focus on supporting web standards such as HTML5 instead of the obsolete Flash format.
In the early 2000s, Flash was widely installed on desktop computers, and was commonly used to display interactive web pages and online games, and to play video and audio content. In 2005, YouTube was founded by former PayPal employees, and it used Flash Player as a means to display compressed video content on the web.
Between 2000 and 2010, numerous businesses used Flash-based websites to launch new products, or to create interactive company portals. Notable users include Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Nokia, General Electric, World Wildlife Fund, HBO, Cartoon Network, Disney, and Motorola. After Adobe introduced hardware-accelerated 3D for Flash (Stage3D), Flash websites saw a growth of 3D content for product demonstrations and virtual tours.
In 2007, YouTube offered videos in HTML5 format to support the iPhone and iPad, which did not support Flash Player. After a controversy with Apple, Adobe stopped developing Flash Player for Mobile, focusing its efforts on Adobe AIR applications and HTML5 animation. In 2015, Google introduced Google Swiffy to convert Flash animation to HTML5, a tool Google would use to automatically convert Flash web ads for mobile devices. In 2016, Google discontinued Swiffy and its support. In 2015, YouTube switched to HTML5 technology on all devices; however, it would preserve the Flash-based video player for older web browsers.
After Flash 5 introduced ActionScript in 2000, developers combined the visual and programming capabilities of Flash to produce interactive experiences and applications for the Web. Such Web-based applications eventually came to be known as "Rich Internet Applications" (RIAs).
Between 2006 and 2016, the Speedtest.net web service conducted over 9.0 billion speed tests using an RIA built with Adobe Flash. In 2016, the service shifted to HTML5 due to the decreasing availability of Adobe Flash Player on PCs.
As of 2016, Web applications and RIAs can be developed with Flash using the ActionScript 3.0 programming language and related tools such as Adobe Flash Builder. Third-party IDEs such as FlashDevelop and Powerflasher FDT also enable developers to create Flash games and applications and are generally similar to Microsoft Visual Studio. Flex applications are typically built using Flex frameworks such as PureMVC.
Screenshots and footage of Flash games QWOP, Solipskier, and Hundreds
Flash video games are popular on the Internet, with portals like Newgrounds, Miniclip, and Armor Games dedicated to hosting of Flash-based games. Popular games developed with Flash include Angry Birds, Clash of Clans, FarmVille, AdventureQuest, Machinarium, Hundreds, N, QWOP, and Solipskier.
Adobe introduced various technologies to help build video games, including Adobe AIR (to release games for desktop or mobile platforms), Adobe Scout (to improve performance), CrossBridge (to convert C++-based games to run in Flash), and Stage3D (to support GPU-accelerated video games). 3D frameworks like Away3D and Flare3D simplified creation of 3D content for Flash.
Adobe AIR allows the creation of Flash-based mobile games, which may be published to the Google Play and Apple app stores.
Flash is also used to build interfaces and HUDs for 3D video games using Scaleform GFx, a technology that renders Flash content within non-Flash video games. Scaleform is supported by more than 10 major video game engines including Unreal Engine, UDK, CryEngine, and PhyreEngine, and has been used to provide 3D interfaces for more than 150 major video game titles since its launch in 2003.
Film and animation
Adobe Animate is one of the common animation programs for low-cost 2D television and commercial animation, in competition with Anime Studio and Toon Boom Animation.
Notable users of Flash include DHX Media Vancouver for productions including Pound Puppies and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Fresh TV for Total Drama, Nelvana for 6teen and Clone High, Williams Street for Metalocalypse and Squidbillies, Nickelodeon Animation Studios for Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera, among others.
Flash is less commonly used for feature-length animated films; however, 2009's The Secret of Kells, an Irish film, was animated primarily in Adobe Flash, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 82nd Academy Awards.
Several popular online series are currently produced in Flash, such as the Emmy Award-winning Off-Mikes, produced by ESPN and Animax Entertainment; Happy Tree Friends; Gotham Girls, produced by Warner Brothers; Crime Time, produced by Future Thought Productions; and Homestar Runner produced by Mike and Matt Chapman.
Various third-party software packages designed for traditionally trained cartoonists and animators can publish animations in the SWF format.
The precursor to Flash was a product named SmartSketch, published by FutureWave Software in 1993. The company was founded by Charlie Jackson, Jonathan Gay, and Michelle Welsh. SmartSketch was a vector drawing application for pen computers running the PenPoint OS. When PenPoint failed in the marketplace, SmartSketch was ported to Microsoft Windows and Mac OS.
As the Internet became more popular, FutureWave realized the potential for a vector-based web animation tool that might challenge MacromediaShockwave technology. In 1995, FutureWave modified SmartSketch by adding frame-by-frame animation features and released this new product as FutureSplash Animator on Macintosh and PC.
FutureWave approached Adobe Systems with an offer to sell them FutureSplash in 1995, but Adobe turned down the offer at that time. Microsoft wanted to create an "online TV network" (MSN 2.0) and adopted FutureSplash animated content as a central part of it.Disney Online used FutureSplash animations for their subscription-based service Disney's Daily Blast.Fox Broadcasting Company launched The Simpsons using FutureSplash.
In November 1996, FutureSplash was acquired by Macromedia, and Macromedia re-branded and released FutureSplash Animator as Macromedia Flash 1.0. Flash was a two-part system, a graphics and animation editor known as Macromedia Flash, and a player known as Macromedia Flash Player.
FutureSplash Animator was an animation tool originally developed for pen-based computing devices. Due to the small size of the FutureSplash Viewer, it was particularly suited for download on the Web. Macromedia distributed Flash Player as a free browser plugin in order to quickly gain market share. By 2005, more computers worldwide had Flash Player installed than any other Web media format, including Java, QuickTime, RealNetworks, and Windows Media Player.
Macromedia upgraded the Flash system between 1996 and 1999 adding MovieClips, Actions (the precursor to ActionScript), Alpha transparency, and other features. As Flash matured, Macromedia's focus shifted from marketing it as a graphics and media tool to promoting it as a Web application platform, adding scripting and data access capabilities to the player while attempting to retain its small footprint.
In 2000, the first major version of ActionScript was developed, and released with Flash 5. Actionscript 2.0 was released with Flash MX 2004 and supported object-oriented programming, improved UI components and other programming features. The last version of Flash released by Macromedia was Flash 8, which focused on graphical upgrades such as filters (blur, drop shadow, etc.), blend modes (similar to Adobe Photoshop), and advanced features for FLV video.
Macromedia was acquired by Adobe Systems on December 3, 2005, and the entire Macromedia product line including Flash, Dreamweaver, Director/Shockwave, Fireworks (which has since been discontinued), and Authorware is now handled by Adobe.
In 2007, Adobe's first version release was Adobe Flash CS3 Professional, the ninth major version of Flash. It introduced the ActionScript 3.0 programming language, which supported modern programming practices and enabled business applications to be developed with Flash. Adobe Flex Builder (built on Eclipse) targeted the enterprise application development market, and was also released the same year. Flex Builder included the Flex SDK, a set of components that included charting, advanced UI, and data services (Flex Data Services).
In 2008, Adobe released the tenth version of Flash, Adobe Flash CS4. Flash 10 improved animation capabilities within the Flash editor, adding a motion editor panel (similar to Adobe After Effects), inverse kinematics (bones), basic 3D object animation, object-based animation, and other text and graphics features. Flash Player 10 included an in-built 3D engine (without GPU acceleration) that allowed basic object transformations in 3D space (position, rotation, scaling).
Also in 2008, Adobe released the first version of Adobe Integrated Runtime (later re-branded as Adobe AIR), a runtime engine that replaced Flash Player, and provided additional capabilities to the ActionScript 3.0 language to build desktop and mobile applications. With AIR, developers could access the file system (the user's files and folders), and connected devices such as a joystick, gamepad, and sensors for the first time.
In 2011, Adobe Flash Player 11 was released, and with it the first version of Stage3D, allowing GPU-accelerated 3D rendering for Flash applications and games on desktop platforms such as Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Adobe further improved 3D capabilities from 2011 to 2013, adding support for 3D rendering on Android and iOS platforms, alpha-channels, compressed textures, texture atlases, and other features. Adobe AIR was upgraded to support 64-bit computers, and to allow developers to add additional functionality to the AIR runtime using AIR Native Extensions (ANE).
In 2014, Adobe AIR reached a milestone with over 100,000 unique applications built, and over 1 billion installations logged across the world (May 2014). Adobe AIR was voted the Best Mobile Application Development product at the Consumer Electronics Show on two consecutive years (CES 2014 and CES 2015). In 2016, Adobe renamed Flash Professional, the primary authoring software for Flash content, to Adobe Animate to reflect its growing use for authoring HTML5 content in favour of Flash content.
Open Screen Project
On May 1, 2008, Adobe announced the Open Screen Project, with the intent of providing a consistent application interface across devices such as personal computers, mobile devices, and consumer electronics. When the project was announced, seven goals were outlined: the abolition of licensing fees for Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Integrated Runtime, the removal of restrictions on the use of the Shockwave Flash (SWF) and Flash Video (FLV) file formats, the publishing of application programming interfaces for porting Flash to new devices, and the publishing of The Flash Cast protocol and Action Message Format (AMF), which let Flash applications receive information from remote databases.
As of February 2009[update], the specifications removing the restrictions on the use of SWF and FLV/F4V specs have been published. The Flash Cast protocol—now known as the Mobile Content Delivery Protocol—and AMF protocols have also been made available, with AMF available as an open source implementation, BlazeDS.
The list of mobile device providers who have joined the project includes Palm, Motorola, and Nokia, who, together with Adobe, have announced a $10 million Open Screen Project fund.As of 2012[update], the Open Screen Project is no longer accepting new applications according to partner BSQuare. However paid licensing is still an option for device makers who want to use Adobe software.
End of life
Although Flash was previously a dominant platform for online multimedia content, it is slowly being abandoned as Adobe favors a transition to HTML5 due to inherent security flaws and significant resources required to maintain the platform. Apple restricted the use of Flash on iOS in 2010 due to concerns that it performed poorly on its mobile devices, had negative impact on battery life, and was deemed unnecessary for online content. As a result, it was not adopted by Apple for its smartphone and tablet devices, which also reduced its user base and encouraged wider adoption of HTML5 features such as the canvas and video elements, which can replace Flash without the need for plugins. In 2015, Adobe rebranded its Flash authoring environment as Adobe Animate to emphasize its expanded support for HTML5 authoring, and stated that it would "encourage content creators to build with new web standards" rather than using Flash. In July 2017, Adobe announced that it would declare Flash to be end-of-life at the end of 2020, and will cease support, distribution, and security updates for Flash Player. After the announcement, developers have started a petition to turn Flash into an open-source project, leading to controversy.
The Flash Platform will continue in the form of Adobe AIR, which Adobe will continue to develop, and OpenFL, a multi-target open-source implementation of the Flash API. Additionally, Adobe Animate will continue to be developed by Adobe even after 2020.
Starting from Chrome 76 and Firefox 69, Flash is disabled by default and browsers do not even show a prompt to activate Flash content. Users who want to play Flash content need to manually set a browser to prompt for Flash content, and then during each browser session enable Flash plugin for every site individually. Furthermore, browsers show warnings about the removal of Flash entirely after December 2020. Microsoft Edge based on Chromium will follow the same plan as Google Chrome.
Google Chrome will block Flash plugin as "out of date" in January 2021 and eventually remove it from the source code. Also in December 2020 Flash support will be completely removed from Firefox. Apple will drop Flash Player support from Safari 14 alongside the release of macOS Big Sur. In a move to further reduce the number of Flash Player installations, Adobe announced plans to add a "time bomb" to Flash to prevent existing installations past End-of-Life date, to prompt users to uninstall Flash, and to remove all existing download links for Flash installers.
The developers of the minoritary browser Pale Moon have stated they will continue support for NPAPI plugins including Flash.
Enthusiasts of the many Flash-based video games have tried to collect them for preservation.
Flash source files are in the FLA format and contain graphics and animation, as well as embedded assets such as bitmap images, audio files, and FLV video files. The Flash source file format is a proprietary format and Adobe Animate is the only available authoring tool capable of editing such files. Flash source files (.fla) may be compiled into Flash movie files (.swf) using Adobe Animate. Note that FLA files can be edited, but output (.swf) files cannot.
Flash movie files are in the SWF format, traditionally called "ShockWave Flash" movies, "Flash movies", or "Flash applications", usually have a .swf file extension, and may be used in the form of a web page plug-in, strictly "played" in a standalone Flash Player, or incorporated into a self-executing Projector movie (with the .exe extension in Microsoft Windows). Flash Video files[spec 1] have a .flv file extension and are either used from within .swf files or played through a flv-aware player, such as VLC, or QuickTime and Windows Media Player with external codecs added.
The use of vector graphics combined with program code allows Flash files to be smaller—and thus allows streams to use less bandwidth—than the corresponding bitmaps or video clips. For content in a single format (such as just text, video, or audio), other alternatives may provide better performance and consume less CPU power than the corresponding Flash movie, for example, when using transparency or making large screen updates such as photographic or text fades.
In addition to a vector-rendering engine, the Flash Player includes a virtual machine called the ActionScript Virtual Machine (AVM) for scripting interactivity at run-time, with video, MP3-based audio, and bitmap graphics. As of Flash Player 8, it offers two video codecs: On2 TechnologiesVP6 and Sorenson Spark, and run-time JPEG, Progressive JPEG, PNG, and GIF capability.
Flash Player 11 introduced a full 3D shader API, called Stage3D, which is fairly similar to WebGL. Stage3D enables GPU-accelerated rendering of 3D graphics within Flash games and applications, and has been used to build Angry Birds, and a couple of other notable games.
Various 3D frameworks have been built for Flash using Stage3D, such as Away3D 4,CopperCube,Flare3D, and Starling. Professional game engines like Unreal Engine and Unity also export Flash versions which use Stage3D to render 3D graphics.
Virtually all browser plugins for video are free of charge and cross-platform, including Adobe's offering of Flash Video, which was introduced with Flash version 6. Flash Video has been a popular choice for websites due to the large installed user base and programmability of Flash. In 2010, Apple publicly criticized Adobe Flash, including its implementation of video playback for not taking advantage of hardware acceleration, one reason Flash is not to be found on Apple's mobile devices. Soon after Apple's criticism, Adobe demoed and released a beta version of Flash 10.1, which uses available GPU hardware acceleration even on a Mac. Flash 10.2 beta, released December 2010, adds hardware acceleration for the whole video rendering pipeline.
Flash Player supports two distinct modes of video playback, and hardware accelerated video decoding may not be used for older video content. Such content causes excessive CPU usage compared to comparable content played with other players.
- Software Rendered Video
- Flash Player supports software rendered video since version 6. Such video supports vector animations displayed above the video content. This obligation may, depending on graphic APIs exposed by the operating system, prohibit using a video overlay, like a traditional multimedia player would use, with the consequence that color space conversion and scaling must happen in software.
- Hardware Accelerated Video
- Flash Player supports hardware accelerated video playback since version 10.2, for H.264, F4V, and FLV video formats. Such video is displayed above all Flash content and takes advantage of video codec chipsets installed on the user's device. Developers must specifically use the "StageVideo" technology within Flash Player in order for hardware decoding to be enabled. Flash Player internally uses technologies such as DirectX Video Acceleration and OpenGL to do so.
In tests done by Ars Technica in 2008 and 2009, Adobe Flash Player performed better on Windows than Mac OS X and Linux with the same hardware. Performance has later improved for the latter two, on Mac OS X with Flash Player 10.1, and on Linux with Flash Player 11.
Flash Audio is most commonly encoded in MP3 or AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) however it can also use ADPCM, Nellymoser (Nellymoser Asao Codec) and Speex audio codecs. Flash allows sample rates of 11, 22 and 44.1 kHz. It cannot have 48 kHz audio sample rate, which is the standard TV and DVD sample rate.
On August 20, 2007, Adobe announced on its blog that with Update 3 of Flash Player 9, Flash Video will also implement some parts of the MPEG-4 international standards. Specifically, Flash Player will work with video compressed in H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10), audio compressed using AAC (MPEG-4 Part 3), the F4V, MP4 (MPEG-4 Part 14), M4V, M4A, 3GP, and MOV multimedia container formats, 3GPPTimed Text specification (MPEG-4 Part 17), which is a standardized subtitle format and partial parsing capability for the "ilst" atom, which is the ID3 equivalent iTunes uses to store metadata. MPEG-4 Part 2 and H.263 will not work in F4V file format. Adobe also announced that it will be gradually moving away from the FLV format to the standard ISO base media file format (MPEG-4 Part 12) owing to functional limits with the FLV structure when streaming H.264. The final release of the Flash Player implementing some parts of MPEG-4 standards had become available in Fall 2007.
Adobe Flash Player 10.1 does not have acoustic echo cancellation, unlike the VoIP offerings of Skype and Google Voice, making this and earlier versions of Flash less suitable for group calling or meetings. Flash Player 10.3 Beta incorporates acoustic echo cancellation.
In October 1998, Macromedia disclosed the Flash Version 3 Specification on its website. It did this in response to many new and often semi-open formats competing with SWF, such as Xara's Flare and Sharp's Extended Vector Animation formats. Several developers quickly created a C library for producing SWF. In February 1999, MorphInk 99 was introduced, the first third-party program to create SWF files. Macromedia also hired Middlesoft to create a freely available developers' kit for the SWF file format versions 3 to 5.
Macromedia made the Flash Files specifications for versions 6 and later available only under a non-disclosure agreement, but they are widely available from various sites.
In April 2006, the Flash SWF file format specification was released with details on the then newest version format (Flash 8). Although still lacking specific information on the incorporated video compression formats (On2, Sorenson Spark, etc.), this new documentation covered all the new features offered in Flash v8 including new ActionScript commands, expressive filter controls, and so on. The file format specification document is offered only to developers who agree to a license agreement that permits them to use the specifications only to develop programs that can export to the Flash file format. The license does not allow the use of the specifications to create programs that can be used for playback of Flash files. The Flash 9 specification was made available under similar restrictions.
In June 2009, Adobe launched the Open Screen Project (Adobe link), which made the SWF specification available without restrictions. Previously, developers could not use the specification for making SWF-compatible players, but only for making SWF-exporting authoring software. The specification still omits information on codecs such as Sorenson Spark, however.
The Adobe Animate authoring program is primarily used to design graphics and animation and publish the same for websites, web applications, and video games. The program also offers limited support for audio and video embedding and ActionScript scripting.
Adobe released Adobe LiveMotion, designed to create interactive animation content and export it to a variety of formats, including SWF. LiveMotion failed to gain any notable user base.[specify]
In February 2003, Macromedia purchased Presedia, which had developed a Flash authoring tool that automatically converted PowerPoint files into Flash. Macromedia subsequently released the new product as Breeze, which included many new enhancements.
Various free and commercial software packages can output animations into the Flash SWF format, suitable for display on the web, including:
- SWiSH Max is an animation editor with preset animation, developed by an ex-employee of Macromedia, that can output Flash animations
- Toon Boom is a traditional animation tool that can output Flash animations
- AppleKeynote allows users to export presentations to Flash SWF animations
- Xara Photo & Graphic Designer can output Flash animations
- Ajax Animator aims to create a Flash development environment
- KToon can edit vectors and generate SWF, but its interface is very different from Macromedia's
- Screencast and Screencam, produces demos or tutorials by capturing the screen and generating a Flash animation of the same
- Vyond is a software as a service tool to create animated videos.
- Anime Studio is a 2D animation software package specialized for character animation, that creates Flash animations
- Question Writer publishes its quizzes to Flash animations
- OpenOffice Impress
- Express Animator
- Alligator Flash Designer
- Amara Web
The Flash 4 Linux project was an initiative to develop an open sourceLinux application as an alternative to Adobe Animate. Development plans included authoring capacity for 2D animation, and tweening, as well as outputting SWF file formats. F4L evolved into an editor that was capable of authoring 2D animation and publishing of SWF files. Flash 4 Linux was renamed UIRA. UIRA intended to combine the resources and knowledge of the F4L project and the Qflash project, both of which were Open Source applications that aimed to provide an alternative to the proprietary Adobe Flash.
Adobe provides a series of tools to develop software applications and video games for Flash:
Third-party development tools have been created to assist developers in creating software applications and video games with Flash.
- FlashDevelop is a free and open source Flash ActionScript IDE, which includes a project manager and debugger for building applications on Flash Player and Adobe AIR.
- Powerflasher FDT is a commercial ActionScript IDE similar to FlashDevelop.
- Haxe is an open source, high-level object-oriented programming language geared towards web-content creation that can compile SWF files from Haxe programs. As of 2012, Haxe can build programs for Flash Player that perform faster than the same application built with the Adobe Flex SDK compiler, due to additional compiler optimizations supported in Haxe.
- SWFTools (specifically, swfc) is an open-source ActionScript 3.0 compiler which generates SWF files from script files, which includes SVG tags.
- swfmill and MTASC also provide tools to create SWF files by compiling text, ActionScript or XML files into Flash animations
- Ming library, to create SWF files programmatically, has interfaces for C, PHP, C++, Perl, Python, and Ruby. It is able to import and export graphics from XML into SWF.
Adobe Flash Player is the multimedia and application player originally developed by Macromedia and acquired by Adobe Systems. It plays SWF files, which can be created by Adobe Animate, Apache Flex, or a number of other Adobe Systems and 3rd party tools. It has support for a scripting language called ActionScript, which can be used to display Flash Video from an SWF file.
Scaleform GFx is a commercial alternative Flash player that features fully hardware-accelerated 2D graphics rendering using the GPU. Scaleform has high conformance with both Flash 10 ActionScript 3 and Flash 8 ActionScript 2. Scaleform GFx is a game development middleware solution that helps create graphical user interfaces or HUDs within 3D video games. It does not work with web browsers.
IrfanView, an image viewer, uses Flash Player to display SWF files.
OpenFL is an open-source implementation of the Adobe Flash API. It allows developers to build a single application against the OpenFL APIs and simultaneously target multiple platforms including iOS, Android, HTML5 (choice of Canvas, WebGL, SVG or DOM), Windows, macOS, Linux, WebAssembly, Flash, AIR, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Wii U, TiVo, Raspberry Pi, and Node.js.
Lightspark is a free and open source SWF player that supports most of ActionScript 3.0 and has a Mozilla-compatible plug-in. It will fall back on Gnash, a free SWF player supporting ActionScript 1.0 and 2.0 (AVM1) code. Lightspark supports OpenGL-based rendering for 3D content. The player is also compatible with H.264 Flash videos on YouTube.
Gnash aims to create a software player and browser plugin replacement for the Adobe Flash Player. Gnash can play SWF files up to version 7, and 80% of ActionScript 2.0. Gnash runs on Windows, Linux and other platforms for the 32-bit, 64-bit, and other operating systems, but development has slowed significantly in recent years.
Adobe Flash has been deprecated. The latest version of Adobe Flash Player is available for three major desktop platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. On Linux the PPAPI plug-in is available; the NPAPI version wasn't updated to new major versions for a while until Adobe changed its mind on stopping support and its former plan to discontinue "in 2017".
Adobe Flash Player is available in four flavors:
- ActiveX-based Plug-in
- NPAPI-based Plug-in
- PPAPI-based Plug-in
The ActiveX version is an ActiveX control for use in Internet Explorer and any other Windows applications that support ActiveX technology. The Plug-in versions are available for browsers supporting either NPAPI or PPAPI plug-ins on Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux. The projector version is a standalone player that can open SWF files directly.
The following table documents Flash Player and Adobe AIR support on desktop operating systems:
|Operating System ||Prerequisites ||Usage ||Latest Adobe Flash Player ||Browser Support |
|Microsoft Windows||Windows XP (32-bit, AIR only) / Vista (32-bit, AIR only) / 7 / 8.1 / 10||Internet Browser, Standalone Applications ||Flash Player 32.0, AIR 32.0||Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Chromium, Opera|
|macOS||OS X 10.10 or newer (Flash Player) / Mac OS X 10.10 or newer (AIR)||Internet Browser, Standalone Applications ||Flash Player 32.0,|