Google has begun freezing the use of Adobe Flash in its Chrome browser in the latest move that will limit the impact of the much-maligned software.
Google first announced plans to stop supporting Flash in June, and said it is working in collaboration with Adobe to increase performance and cut down on battery drain in its products.
HTML5 will now be the preferred format for displaying advertising and multimedia content. Users will still have the option to play Flash content, but the Chrome browser will now have "non-essential" Flash advertisements switched off by default.
Chrome users will instead have to adjust the browser settings and use the ‘click to play' pop-up or install a Flash plug-in to view the content.
Tommy Li, a software engineer at Google, explained in a blog post how the new feature will work. "When you're on a webpage that runs Flash, we'll intelligently pause content (like Flash animations) that aren't central to the webpage, while keeping central content (like a video) playing without interruption," he said.
"If we accidentally pause something you were interested in, you can just click it to resume playback. This update significantly reduces power consumption, allowing you to surf the web longer before having to hunt for a power outlet."
Google said that advertisers who are concerned about having their adverts blocked by the changes should consider converting to HTML5.
Adobe Flash is still widely used across the advertising industry, but has recently suffered several security vulnerabilities.
Many internet companies, including Mozilla and Facebook, have distanced themselves from the platform. Most recently, Amazon announced that from 1 September Flash-based advertising will no longer be used on its website.
"This change ensures customers continue to have a positive, consistent experience across Amazon and its affiliates, and that ads displayed across the site function properly for optimal performance," said Amazon on its technical guidelines page.
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