Google has outlined a plan to push HTML5 by default in Chrome, instead of Flash. In Q4 2016, the company plans to only serve Flash by default for the top 10 domains that still depend on the plugin. Chrome will display the HTML5 experience if it’s available, but if Flash is required, the user will be asked whether Flash can be allowed to run or not.
Flash has been on its way out for years. Not only is the tool a security nightmare, with new vulnerabilities popping up regularly, the market has been slowly but surely moving away from plugins in favor of HTML5. Chrome and Flash, in particular, have had a complicated relationship.
While Flash is included in Google’s browser by default, it has been slowly but surely de-emphasized. In September 2015, Chrome 45 began automatically pausing less-important Flash content (ads, animations, and anything that isn’t “central to the webpage”). Now, Google wants to focus on the central content, such as games and videos.
Here is Google’s “HTML5 by Default” proposal for Chrome:Flash Player will come bundled with Chrome, however, its presence will not be advertised by default, namely in Navigator.Plugins() and Navigator.MimeTypes().
- If a site offers an HTML5 experience, this change will make that the default experience.
- When a user encounters a site that needs Flash Player, a prompt will appear at the top of the page, giving the user the option of allowing it for a site.
- If the user accepts, Chrome will advertise the presence of Flash Player, and refresh the page.
- Chrome will honor the user’s setting for that domain on subsequent visits.
- To avoid over-prompting users, we will initially ship with a whitelist of the then top 10 sites (based on aggregate usage). This whitelist will expire after one year.
The whitelist is meant to “reduce the initial user impact, and avoid over-prompting,” according to the company’s “intent to implement” post on Google Groups. If this whitelist were to be implemented today, Chrome’s internal metrics show that the top 10 domains using Flash would be YouTube.com, Facebook.com, Yahoo.com, VK.com, Live.com, Yandex.ru, OK.ru, Twitch.tv, Amazon.com, and Mail.ru. Google promises to update the whitelist periodically throughout the year to remove sites that no longer warrant an exception based on usage.