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Google to integrate Flash into Chrome, quell Apple's gripes

updated 02:55 pm EDT, Tue March 30, 2010

Chrome to improve plugin tech for Flash's sake

Google today previewed its long-term plans for Chrome with a new developer build that integrates Flash. The new version automatically downloads the latest version of Flash at the same time as the browser and makes Flash updates a part of Chrome's own automatic update systems. Future development will also extend Chrome's signature sandboxing design to prevent malicious Flash code from touching other parts of the app or the OS.

The cooperation is portrayed as part of a larger collaboration between Google, Adobe and Mozilla to create a new plugin API that aims to solve many of the problems with plugins today. The standard would determine how Flash and other plugins could behave and would, if realized, make plugins as fast, secure and stable as regular HTML. Flash would fit in more tightly with regular website design as a result, Google explained.

The Adobe partnership is an indirect slap by Adobe at Apple, which has recently been critical of Flash as crash-prone and resource intensive, using this to decline collaboration on Flash for the iPhone. Safari on the desktop still comes ready for Flash, but Apple has been steering most content providers towards plugin-free HTML5 videos.

Google despite its new alliance has often been supportive of the same standards as Apple, as Chrome already supports HTML5 and YouTube has an HTML5 beta.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    +4

    Now What

    These changes are pretty nice, and it would be good to see other browsers adopt them as well. Sandboxing the Flash runtime so malicious Flash content can't infect your computer is a fabulous idea. Auto-updating Flash is also a good thing.

    What's missing in this announcement is any kind of commitment to easing the transition away FROM Flash, to HTML5. Chrome still has abominable h.264 HTML5 playback quality and performance, and its video controls and widgets for HTML5 are terribly designed, displaying an empty white space while the video is downloading, and unintuitive controls once it has loaded. Google has a long way to go to make HTML5 a first class alternative to Flash on their Chrome browser.

  1. facebook_Dan

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2010

    +2

    Nooo!

    That is terrible. I love Chrome, but hate Flash. Now I can use little utilities to selectively disable Flash. (It is also a help since I don't always have broadband). Ugh. Can't Google just focus on search and advertising and quit playing this petty game with Apple? It isn't good for consumers.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    +8

    Re: Nooo!

    Chrome users can still opt out of installing Flash, you can disable Flash or all plugins any time you want, and Chrome supports extensions, so you can still install FlashBlock for Chrome. This latest development doesn't change anything for you, even if you hate Flash. All they're doing here is mitigating some of the security risks posed by Flash, so that their users' computers are protected, which is a very good thing.

  1. kerryb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -6

    oh snap

    Steve and Apple just got b*tch slapped. Can't wait for Apple's response, this is getting fun.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    +3

    Re: oh snap

    You seem to have fallen for the trap. The spin that this move is in response to Apple's statements regarding Flash's issues on mobile devices is pure media slant done in order to drive page views. Google isn't stupid; they know it's not in their best interest for Flash to be a dominant standard anymore than it is for Apple or Microsoft. But they're also not stupid enough to think that Flash will be disappearing any time soon, and so they're making the best of it by ensuring it's not a security hole or too much of a drag on user experience. Google is simply doing what's right for Chrome users, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Apple making very similar changes to the desktop version of Safari, despite their disparaging remarks on Flash's future. Google is simply making the best of the current situation and doing right by their users. Spinning this as Google thwarting Apple's war on Flash is pure sensationalist bull.

  1. bleee

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Mar 2002

    +3

    This isn't a slap it's the truth

    "Apple, which has recently been critical of Flash as crash-prone and resource intensive"

    If the flash plugin for OS X was as good as the one for WIndows... Apple wouldn't have anything to say but the fact of the matter is that it's NOT.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -2

    Re: Now what

    Chrome still has abominable h.264 HTML5 playback quality and performance,

    Well, since HTML5 doesn't specify h.264 as being a requirement, you're lucky you get what you got. And wouldn't it be nice if there were some kind of plug-in architecture such that you could install an optimized h.264 viewer?

    and its video controls and widgets for HTML5 are terribly designed, displaying an empty white space while the video is downloading, and unintuitive controls once it has loaded.

    Well, again, this is what you get when you push this stuff to the browser. Even worse, every browser will look different when playing video when it comes to control placement, look, and usability.

    Again, if only there were some sort of plug-in architecture....

  1. Longwalker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2008

    +2

    Flash Wars Episode V: The Google Strikes Back

    This is getting interesting.

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