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What is Flash?

What is Flash

In the 1970s, although the term "Flash" was the name of a common superhero. It is now referred to as something quite different. It is also most likely referring to multimedia technology, Adobe Flash, when you see the term Flash on the web. Web developers can add interactively content and incorporate animations into their website with the help of Flash.

Flash is a popular authoring tool that allows users to create animated works that may be saved as. FLV files. It was originally released by Macromedia in 1996, which is used to create vector graphics-based animation programs. Over the next decade, it gained many new features such as full-screen navigation interfaces, resizable file format, simple interactivity in an antialiased, graphic illustrations. Generally, it started as an optional plug-in and a basic animation for the Web browser.

Adobe took over the development of Flash technology and acquired Macromedia in 2005. As it renders graphics in a smooth way and has better speed; therefore, this software is universal. Unlike animated but rasterized GIFs and JPEG, Flash files are designed for optimized delivery as well as efficient and compact. Flash is now included with all major Web browsers and has remained a worldwide Web standard.

Flash animations do not require a lot of disk space as they have the potential to include text and vector graphics. If you need to further reduce the file size, you may also compress the contents of a Flash animation. This makes capable you to download Flash content relatively quickly. However, still, few seconds may be taken by large Flash animations to load in the browser. Therefore, when you see a "Loading..." animation at the time of opening a Web page, it means Flash content is being downloaded to your computer system.

The Flash plug-in must be installed in your browser in order to view Flash content. Although in modern times, Flash comes pre-installed with most browsers, an updated version of Flash may be needed to run some animations. Fortunately, Adobe's website offers free downloads of the standalone Flash Player and the most recent Flash plug-in. On the basis of an independent study cited by Macromedia, Flash has already been installed by almost 89.9 percent of Web users; hence, it is considered as one of the Web's most accessible plug-ins.

Flash may also be referred to any of the following:

  • Flash is a short form for flash memory.
  • A solid-state drive (SSD) is also referred to as Flash (solid-state drive).
  • The term "flash" or "flashing" can also refer to the process of upgrading the firmware (code) on a chip.

Applications of Flash

There are various applications of Flash, which are discussed below:


Flash was widely used to play video and audio content, play online games, and display interactive web pages in the early 2000s, and it was widely installed on desktop PCs. Former PayPal employees created YouTube in 2005, and it relied on Adobe Flash Player to stream compressed video content on the internet.

There were various businesses that used Flash-based websites to create interactive company portals or to launch new products between 2000 and 2010. In 2007, YouTube also published videos in HTML5 format to support the iPhone and iPad, which were not supported by Flash Player. After a disagreement with Apple, Adobe decided to cease producing the Flash Player for Mobile. And it focused on HTML5 animation and Adobe AIR applications.

A tool, Google Swiffy, that converted Flash animation to HTML5 was released by Google in 2015, which Google utilized to convert Flash web ads automatically for mobile devices. The further development of Swiffy, as well as its support, was stopped by Google in 2016. By default, on most devices, YouTube switched to HTML5 technology in 2015. However, until 2017, the Flash-based video player for older devices and web browsers were supported by YouTube.

Rich Web Applications

In 2000, for producing interactive experiences and applications for the Web, developers combined the programming and visual capabilities of Flash after Flash 5 introduced ActionScript. Eventually, such kinds of Web-based applications were known as "Rich Internet Applications and, over time, later became "Rich Web Applications".

The web service completed more than 9.0 billion performance tests with an Adobe Flash-based tool between 2006 and 2016. In 2016, the service switched to HTML5 due to the diminishing availability of Adobe Flash Player on PCs. Developers can create rich web applications and Flash web applications in ActionScript 3.0 programming language with IDEs, as well as Powerflasher FDT, FlashDevelop, and Adobe Flash Builder.

Video Games

Flash video games with portals like Armor Games, Miniclip, and Newgrounds were more common on the Internet to hosting Flash-based games. Popular games developed with Flash include Solipskier, Hundreds, QWOP, N, AdventureQuest, Bubble Shooter, Angry Birds, FarmVille, Clash of Clans. There are numerous technologies introduced by Adobe that help to develop video games, as well as Stage3D, CrossBridge (to convert C++-based games to run in Flash), Adobe AIR, and Adobe Scout. The creation of Flash-based mobile games is allowed by Adobe AIR that you can publish on the Apple app and Google Play stores.

HUDs and interfaces can also be built for 3D video games by Flash with the help of using Scaleform GFx. Scaleform GFx is a technology that allows Flash material to be translated into non-Flash video games. Scale form is supported by more than ten major video game engines, including PhyreEngine, CryEngine, Unreal Engine, and UDK.

Film and animation

For low-cost commercial animation and 2D television, Adobe Animate is a widely used animation program in competition with Toon Boom Animation and Anime Studio. Flash is also less typically employed in feature-length animated films.

Flash vs. HTML5

Many websites are abandoning Adobe Flash in favor of HTML5, which works with all modern mobile devices and browsers and requires no additional plugins.

How to remove or disable Adobe Flash?

Adobe Flash is usually installed on the web browser as an extension or add-on. If you want to remove or disable it, you can remove Adobe Flash or Adobe Flash Player with the help of disabling the browser extension. Also, you can uninstall Adobe Flash with the help of using the Windows uninstall feature as it is uninstalled on the computer as software.

History of Flash


In 1993, FutureWave Software published Flash's pioneer, which was a product named SmartSketch. Michelle Welsh, Jonathan Gay, and Charlie Jackson founded the company. FutureWave saw the possibility for a vector-based web animation tool as the Internet grew in popularity, posing a threat to Macromedia's Shockwave technology. In 1995, with the help of adding frame-by-frame animation features, SmartSketch was modified by FutureWave. And, on PC and Macintosh, FutureWave released this new product as FutureSplash Animator.


Macromedia acquired FutureSplash in November 1996, and FutureSplash Animator as Macromedia Flash 1.0 was re-branded and released by Macromedia. Flash was known as Macromedia Flash as it was a graphics and animation editor, a two-part system. FutureSplash Animator was an animation tool designed for pen-based computing devices. Due to the FutureSplash Viewer's modest size, it was excellent for downloading on the web. In order to quickly gain market share, Flash Player was distributed by Macromedia as a free browser plugin.

As compared to other Web media formats, as well as Windows Media Player, QuickTime, Java, and RealNetworks, Flash Player was installed on more computers in the world by 2005. Between 1996 and 1999, the Flash system was upgraded by Macromedia. It included some features, such as Alpha transparency, Actions, MovieClips, and more.

The ActionScript 1.0, the first version of ActionScript, was developed and released with Flash 5 in 2000. In 2004, the second major version of Actionscript, Actionscript 2.0, was introduced with Flash MX. It was improved UI components and supported object-oriented programming as well as other programming features. The Flash 8 was the last version of Actionscript, which was introduced by Macromedia. It also focuses on graphical upgrades for FLV video, such as blend modes, graphical upgrades, and sophisticated features.


Macromedia was acquired by Adobe Systems on 3 December 2005; it also acquired the entire Macromedia product as well as Authorware, Fireworks, Director/Shockwave, Dreamweaver, and Flash. Adobe published the first edition of Adobe Flash CS3 Professional in 2007, which was the ninth major version of Flash. Adobe announced the ActionScript 3.0 programming language, which allowed corporate applications to be built using Flash and supported current programming methods.

Later, Adobe Flash CS4, the tenth version of Flash, was released by Adobe in 2008. Flash 10 increased animation capabilities with the Flash editor, which included object-based animation, a motion editor panel, inverse kinematics, and additional text and graphics features. The 11th version of Flash, Adobe Flash Player 11, was introduced in 2011. Adobe announced in May 2014 that AIR has been installed over 1 billion times around the world and was utilised in over 100,000 different applications. Adobe Animate replaced Flash Professional as the major authoring program for Flash content in 2016.

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