In June, Google announced that Beta Google Chrome users would see the browser “intelligently pause” Adobe Flash content that isn’t central to a web page, such as advertisements. Flash content that is the focus of the webpage is still allowed to run. Today, the intelligent pausing is being rolled-out to all Google Chrome users.
In a Blogspot post, Google Chrome explained that Adobe Flash content is resource intensive and it’s unfettered use causes unnecessary drain on a device’s battery.
Just weeks before Google announced the decision, PC World reported that Mozilla Firefox has begun blocking Adobe Flash content up to version 188.8.131.52, because of three vulnerabilities in the program that hackers had begun to exploit. Adobe quickly updated Flash to fix the vulnerabilities, releasing version 184.108.40.206, which Mozilla Firefox allowed to run as usual.
While the timing of the move by Google Chrome’s development team to pause Flash content appears to coincide with the discovery of the vulnerabilities, Google appears adamant that the move is related to performance.
“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. 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.”
Along with the Chrome update, in a Google+ post, Google encouraged developers to convert Flash content to HTML5 where possible to improve performance for users. Google AdWords has begun to automatically convert AdWords Flash content to HTML5. Most Flash content is eligible for automatic conversion, but some may not be. In another Google+ post, Google details several developer tools for converting Flash ad content to HTML5 and creating HTML5 ad content from scratch.
The Inquisitr has previously reported that Google Chrome holds 28 percent of the browser market and that Amazon will begin blocking ads containing Flash content beginning today: the combined market clout of Google and Amazon is expected to spur a large migration by ad developers from Flash to HTML5. A drop in the number of ads displayed is expected over coming weeks, but is expected to pick up again as developers embrace the switch to HTML5.
While the power consumption issue has been ongoing with Flash, the discovery of the software vulnerabilities in early July cannot be ignored, and while it has not been specifically acknowledged, it seems reasonable to conclude that these issues helped to force the hands of both Google and Amazon.
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