Google is Dropping Flash Display Adverts

Adobe’s Flash is commonly used stream video content on various services including YouTube, DailyMotion and more! However, the software plugin has a fairly terrible reputation for being unstable, and causing web browsers to freeze. As a result, websites began to slowly move towards HTML5 integration which provides a better user-experience. Today, Google AdWords released a statement regarding the future of flash adverts which reads:

“Over the last few years, we’ve rolled out tools to encourage advertisers to use HTML5, so you can reach the widest possible audience across screens (http://goo.gl/nWHctK). To enhance the browsing experience for more people on more devices, the Google Display Network and DoubleClick Digital Marketing are now going 100% HTML5:

– Starting June 30th, 2016, display ads built in Flash can no longer be uploaded into AdWords and DoubleClick Digital Marketing.
– Starting January 2nd, 2017, display ads in the Flash format can no longer run on the Google Display Network or through DoubleClick.

It’s important to update your display ads^ to HTML5 before these dates.

AdWords advertisers who currently use Flash ads in their campaigns have several easy ways to ensure your creative can continue to show on the Google Display Network. Read more here: https://goo.gl/ZBq5DR

^Video ads built in Flash will not be impacted at this time.”

As you can see, Google is really increasing its stance to push HTML5 as the industry standard and making Flash obsolete. This is inevitable and only a matter of time because of the way consumers perceive Flash. It’s no longer acceptable to deal with bugs, crashing and a sub-par plugin on modern browsers. I highly doubt anyone is going to be overly concerned if Flash is completely disposed of and HTML5 is already used as the default format on various websites including YouTube.

Have you experienced problems using Adobe’s Flash?

Image courtesy of Mashable.

Oracle is Killing Off Java

Outdated browser plugin Java is finally being pulled, Oracle has announced. Java will be slowly phased out, beginning with a deprecation of the plugin starting with JDK 9. The advent of HTML5 means that buggy and insecure browser plugins, such as Flash and Java, are no longer required, with Google Chrome already suspending use of Java last year. Adobe has made a similar move, rebranding Flash and shifting toward HTML5.

“By late 2015, many browser vendors have either removed or announced timelines for the removal of standards based plugin support, eliminating the ability to embed Flash, Silverlight, Java and other plugin based technologies,” Oracle’s announcement on its blog reads. “With modern browser vendors working to restrict and reduce plugin support in their products, developers of applications that rely on the Java browser plugin need to consider alternative options such as migrating from Java Applets (which rely on a browser plugin) to the plugin-free Java Web Start technology.”

“Oracle plans to deprecate the Java browser plugin in JDK 9. This technology will be removed from the Oracle JDK and JRE in a future Java SE release,” the post continues. “Early Access releases of JDK 9 are available for download and testing at http://jdk9.java.net. More background and information about different migration options can be found in this short whitepaper from Oracle.”

Adobe Renames Flash and Shifts Emphasis to HTML5

Adobe has unveiled its new 2016 Creative Cloud package, bringing with it the end of Flash, but in name only. From now on, Flash – now notorious for its regular security holes and exploits – will be known as Adobe Animate CC, with Adobe making a noticeable shift toward HTLM5.

“For nearly two decades, Flash Professional has been the standard for producing rich animations on the web,” Adobe writes on its announcement blog post. “Because of the emergence of HTML5 and demand for animations that leverage web standards, we completely rewrote the tool over the past few years to incorporate native HTML5 Canvas and WebGL support. To more accurately represent its position as the premier animation tool for the web and beyond, Flash Professional will be renamed Adobe Animate CC, starting with the next release in early 2016.”

While Adobe insists that the newly-branded Animate CC will remain a “first-class citizen” as a content platform, along with Adobe Air, the company is pushing the HTML5 capabilities of its latest iteration.

“Today, over a third of all content created in Flash Professional today uses HTML5,” Adobe adds, “reaching over one billion devices worldwide. It has also been recognized as an HTML5 ad solution that complies with the latest Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) standards, and is widely used in the cartoon industry by powerhouse studios like Nickelodeon and Titmouse Inc.”

YouTube has already abandoned Flash in favour of HTLM5 as its default video format, while sites such as Amazon have banned Flash adverts on its sites.

The BBC Implements HTML5 to iPlayer

I think we can all say that Adobe Flash Player is very much being knocked to its knees in recent months, from endless, and I do mean endless, vulnerabilities which put countless users at risk to the annoying aspect of running a plug-in which enjoys crashing and breaking functionality on a regular basis. Well, now the BBC has also seen the light and are implementing the HTML 5 web standard language within its BBC iPlayer service.

The move is seen as progress and an update which modernizes the service and security aspect of the site. The BBC state that it is “now confident [it could] achieve the playback quality you’d expect from the BBC without using a third-party plug-in such as Flash player”. Users have also been invited to visit a BBC site where they can set a cookie in their browsers that will allow them to access the HTML5 player when they visit iPlayer in future. However, the Flash version will remain available.

Security analysts have responded positivity to the news but have also confirmed that Adobe Flash still has a role; this has been echoed by security expert Chris Green, who says “The industry has moved on from trying to shoehorn one thing in, whether that is Flash or Microsoft’s Silverlight. It continues to be very effective in delivering rich content into web pages.”  

The BBC is testing the new more improved player on a range of browsers, these include Firefox 41, Safari on iOS 5 and above, Opera 32, Internet Explorer 11 (Good luck with that piece of, let’s say junk, as this is a family site) and Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 (Good luck with that piece of, to be fair I have not as yet tried edge but anything with the words browser and Microsoft in the title concerns me) and Blackberry OS 10.3.1 The BBC added that it was also going to “move away from the BBC Media Player app on Android devices” with users invited to join a limited beta test

HTML 5 is considered the standard in content delivery and the BBC are implementing this with the aim of modernizing the service, it will be interesting to see how it works and also how rapid the decline of Flash will be in the coming months and years. It is worth noting that Flash is used by Amazon and Hulu among others, which is positive for them, it’s just frustrating for consumers who have to put up with a range of exploits which make services insecure.

Thank you bbc for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of plus.google

Amazon Bans Flash Adverts on Its Own Domains

Amazon has updated the terms of its Technical Guidelines to prohibit any advert on Amazon-branded sites using Adobe’s Flash protocol. The change will commence on the 1st September and Amazon explained their reasoning in an introductory post:

“Beginning September 1, 2015, Amazon no longer accepts Flash ads on Amazon.com, AAP, and various IAB standard placements across owned and operated domains.”

“This is driven by recent browser setting updates from Google Chrome, and existing browser settings from Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari, that limits Flash content displayed on web pages.”

“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.”

This is a clear message from one of the leading online giants to universally drop Flash support across web pages, browsers and other applications. Flash can cause a myriad of stability issues and HTML5 has proven to be a far superior replacement. Amazon clearly feels the conflict between browser settings and Flash content is creating a sub-par shopping experience and could deter users from purchasing on the Amazon store. Frustratingly, Chrome embeds Flash by default but you can download Chromium or Firefox as an alternative.

Thankfully, it seems the Flash is now on the target radar of influential web companies and could become obsolete in the near future.

Have you ever experienced any issues with Adobe Flash?

Twitch Transitioning From Flash to HTML5

Game streaming platform Twitch is finally switching from the notoriously unsafe Adobe Flash to HTML5, following in the steps of YouTube, which made the same change to its videos in January this year. The HTML5 rollout, which also includes JavaScript controls, will be gradual, and the underlying videos will still be powered by Flash for the time being. Twitch calls it “an important step to releasing the much-anticipated full HTML5 player” and that users should “stay tuned for more HTML5 updates.”

Luckily for Twitch, it is well placed to learn lessons from YouTube’s transition over the last six months, and longer since Google has been doing some stellar work with HTML5 since 2010. Five years ago, Google revealed a test version of the HTML5 video player it had been developing, a system that came to be used by YouTube this year. The prototype HTML5 player out-performed its Flash equivalent, and the code made it easier to embed videos.

Twitch’s transition to HTML5 shouldn’t take five years, like YouTube, but it is bound to be a slow and meticulous process. Short of taking the site down for a few months, which I’m sure owner Amazon would be loath to do, a creeping change should help Twitch move away from Flash as painlessly for its users as possible.

Thank you The Trigger for providing us with this information.

Google Changes how Flash Ads Work in Chrome

Despite helping pay for web content, auto-playing Flash ads have become the bane of internet users. While third party plugins have long offered the ability to control Flash elements, Google is now baking in the ability to pause auto-playing Flash ads right into Chrome. Starting with the latest Chrome Beta build, pausing non-central plugin elements will become the default setting. Pausing auto-play ads is one thing but Chrome being able to determine which Flash elements are ads and which ones are the content makes the feature so much more useful.

In their blog post announcing the new feature, Google states that the main purpose of adding this ability into Chome is to help improve battery life. By reducing the number of flash elements being played, the processor has a lower workload, reducing power consumption and improving battery life. Flash has long been notorious for consuming processor cycles and being a performance hog so disabling unnecessary elements is sure to help not only battery life but those on older machines.

It’s important to note that it’s not clear how Chrome will determine which elements need to be paused. The feature also isn’t meant to block ads necessarily as a Flash ad that plays in the main video frame before the real video likely won’t be blocked. HTML 5 playable ads and other ads also won’t be blocked so this feature won’t be a replacement for ad-blockers. Nethertheless it’s interesting to see an advertising firm pushing out features that could reduce their ad revenue.

YouTube Live Streaming Now Available With HTML5 and 60FPS Support

It looks like the old Flash Player is going to be scrapped sooner than expected. After enabling support for HTML5 video playback, YouTube is now extending that support to live streaming sessions. This means that users can now watch live streaming videos on HTML5-enabled browsers and at 60FPS!

The slow process looks to have started late last year, when every video uploaded on the streaming service could keep its 60FPS ratio. Up until October last year, all videos were automatically converted to 30FPS once uploaded. In addition to the latter, YouTube quietly made HTML5 its default player early this year, so it would make sense for the company to continue towards fully integrating the HTML5 player.

The technology is now widely supported in all major browsers like Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari and even Internet Explorer. However, YouTube stated that the HTML5 playback for live streaming is still undergoing development, so don’t expect it to do miracles just yet. Still, the technology now is able to deliver 720p or 1080p at 60FPS and users can even skip backwards in a live stream or even play around with its play speed.

Let’s not forget about the hardware here. I mean as good as HTML5 player sounds, it still needs some hardware specs to have it run at 60FPS. This is why YouTube comes with an option to change playback to 30FPS, should 60FPS be too much for your device. Nevertheless, we are moving towards a 4K video playback era, so it’s likely everyone will upgrade their hardware sooner or later.

Thank you VentureBeat for providing us with this information

Microsoft Edge Browser to Ditch ActiveX

Microsoft Edge, the browser formally known as Project Spartan to be bundled with Windows 10, will ditch ActiveX and Browser Helper Objects (BHO) in favour of HTML5 and JavaScript. However, the replacement will not appear until after the release of Windows 10 this Summer. Internet Explorer 11 support, which still includes ActiveX and BHO, will remain in place for Enterprise users.

Both ActiveX and BHO are long in the tooth – they were introduced in 1996 and 1997, respectively – and, as such, contain a whole host of security issues that hackers have been exploiting for over a decade. Modern browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Opera had long ago moved away from the frameworks for the standards-based HTML5.

“The need for ActiveX controls has been significantly reduced by HTML5-era capabilities, which also produces interoperable code across browsers,” Microsoft’s blog says of the move, in a section titled ‘Why we don’t need [ActiveX] anymore’. “Microsoft Edge will support native PDF rendering and Adobe Flash as built-in features rather than external add-ons. We recently demonstrated our early work on a modern, HTML/JavaScript-based extension model to provide extensibility beyond what is available with HTML5. We will enable this new model after our initial release of Microsoft Edge this summer and we look forward to sharing more details soon.”

Though Windows 10 will launch with IE11 while Edge is being finished, the browser and its framework are not long for this world. Edge hopes to rival Chrome and Firefox, both for efficiency and security. Microsoft is, eventually, catching up, and it’s about time.

Thank you Computer World for providing us with this information.

Google to Automatically Convert Flash Ads in HTML5

Flash is dead. Long live HTML5. Adobe’s Flash player is notoriously buggy and vulnerable to malware attacks, a fact that is slowly scaring off websites, developers, and users in equal measure. YouTube has already ditched the software in favour of the new standard language HTML5, and now Google will be converting flash adverts in to HTML5 automatically.

Commercials uploaded through AdWords, AdWords Editor, and some other third-party tools will be automatically ported to HTML5. Not all ads can be converted, though most new advertising campaigns should be affected.

The move is designed to help deliver ad content to mobile systems, especially devices running Google’s Android operating system, which has not supported Flash since its Ice Cream Sandwich iteration.

Source: The Next Web

YouTube Now Uses HTML5 by Default in-Browser

Five years after starting support for the HTML5 standard, YouTube has dropped Flash Player to use the HTML5 <video> format as its default player in-browser. According to YouTube, the five-year wait was to allow once-experimental HTML5 time to mature. The HTML5 standard is now widely adopted by the best of the web – even Smart TVs are using it – and it allows live broadcast support an improved widescreen aspect view and more.

This could summon the death knell for Adobe’s Flash Player. With the notoriously buggy Flash still reporting vulnerabilities, how long does the player have left?

Source: Engadget

Google’s Web Designer Updated with Animation Tools and More

It’s been almost a year since Google introduced us to their HTML5 Web Designer, a free tool for all major platforms created to make it easy for any one to create interactive HTML5 sites and advertising. We’ve only seen a couple minor patches and updates since then, but now Google is ready with the first big one.

According to the DoubleClick blog, ad impressions from HTML5 grew 140% in the first half of 2014 compared to the second half of 2013. Ads build with the Web Designer have gained 2.5 Billion impressions since launch and over 20% of the user-base is said to be returning.

While the main focus of the Web Designer always has been the creation of advertising, there is nothing holding you back from using it to create anything else your imagination might spark. There are however many features that are build just for that, like the new direct integration to the DoubleClick Studio where those ads then are automatically tagged with the right account, advertiser and campaign information for publishing.

Google’s AdWords service has also switched to HTML5 now, and any Flash ads that are uploaded will be converted to HTML5 automatic. This is of course to support  HTML5 ads created in the new Web Designer.

The new animation tools are however what will get most people excited. With the new reworked animation timeline with features like animation scrubbing, timeline events and auto key-framing, it’s never been easier building HTML5 based animations. A couple new 3D features have been added as well.

Since this is Google, we’ll of course also get an integration with Google Drive to make it easier to share our Web Designer files with friends and co-workers. The text editor CodeMirror also got a direct integration now.

You can watch the video below to get a visual presentation of the updated Google Web Designer or you can just head over to Google, download it and start creating your very own HTML5 animations.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTfJFf8f5eg[/youtube]

Thank you DoubleClick for providing us with this information

Image and video courtesy of Google

Chrome for Android Gets Updated

Google is busy pushing out another wave of updates for some of their most popular mobile apps, the first being Chrome for Android, which is now capable of supporting multi-window devices. There aren’t many multi-window compatible devices out there, but we do know that the new feature is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy S5.

Full-screen video playback is now included too thanks to HTML5, with added controls and subtitle options to boot. Other little additions bring the undo function, which desktop users will be familiar with as it allows you to re-open an accidentally closed tab.

Of course the update will also bring the usual way of bug fixes, stability improvements, etc. Not the biggest of updates, but you can read the full change lot below.

  • Undo Tab Close.
  • Fullscreen video with subtitles and HTML5 controls.
  • Support for some multi-window devices.
  • Support for casting some videos with Chromecast.
  • Other bug fixes.

Have you had a chance to try out the multi-window functionality yet? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Android Headlines.

World’s First Chrome OS All-in-One Revealed By LG

LG Electronics has become the first company to announce an all-in-one PC based on Google’s Chrome OS cloud-powered operating system, a platform more normally associated with ultra-portable laptops.

Based on Linux, Chrome OS eschews the traditional computing paradigm in favour of turning the Chrome browser into the primary user interface. Applications are rarely installed locally, with the user instead being pointed to web-based apps which make heavy use of the browser’s HTML5 and JavaScript support. The downside, for users who didn’t pay extra for a Chromebook with in-built mobile broadband at least, is that the device loses a great deal of its feature set when disconnected from the internet.

Disconnections may be frequent for road warriors, but less so for those who do the majority of their computing at home. It’s in this typically permanently connected environment that LG hopes to push Chrome OS as a real alternative to the like of Microsoft Windows. Step one: the world’s first Chrome OS all-in-one desktop PC, the Chromebase.

Looking for all the world like a slightly bulky monitor, and owing an undeniable debt of gratitude to Apple’s curved iMac design, the Chromebase packs a Haswell-based Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of local storage – the bulk storage of files being offloaded to the Google Drive cloud platform – and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing webcam with support for 720p video capture. The front, meanwhile, is dominated by the Chromebase’s 21.5″ 1,920×1080 in-plane switching (IPS) liquid-crystal display panel. The sides and rear include a single USB 3.0 port, three USB 2.0 ports, analogue audio connectivity to supplement the on-board speakers, an Ethernet connection and – interestingly – a HDMI input, allowing the device to double as a monitor for an external system.

‘Simple to operate for all types of users, the award-winning LG Chromebase computer represents the successful combination of simplicity, power and great design,’ claimed Hyoung-sei Park, head of the IT Business Division at LG Electronics. ‘LG Chromebase is the wave of the future for desktops, [and is] expected to be widely adopted not only at home, but especially in schools, hotels, call centres and other business settings.’

Pricing for the LG Chromebase has yet to be confirmed, with the company expected to make a more detailed announcement at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next month.

Thank you Bit-Tech for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Bit-Tech