Flash as a tool is a very useful tool to create interactive and dynamic web content. Flash content is easy to load and give “interactivity” option to users. There are two versions of flash available in the market; Shockwave and Flash. People get confused between the two siblings as both of them come under the Adobe umbrella. But in fact, Shockwave was published by Macromedia in 1995, which was then acquired by Adobe in 2005. Both these plug-ins are popular among the masses but Flash takes the cherry due to its dependence on vector graphics, which makes them internet friendly. The advantage of this set-up makes Flash plug-in pip the popularity charts over Shockwave.
Shockwave is also used to build interactive multimedia applications and video games. Shockwave supports raster graphics, basic vector graphics, 3D graphics, audio, and an embedded scripting language called Lingo. Shockwave came into light when tonnes of free online video games were developed and published on sites such as Miniclip and Shockwave.com. Adobe developed Adobe AIR as a supplementary plug-in to combat rising demands for ‘3D rendering capabilities, object-oriented programming language, and capacity to run as a native executable on multiple platforms’.
In 2012, Adobe decided to pull the plug on flash plug-in for android devices. Devices running Android version 4.1 and above would no longer support flash. It was also removed from the Playstore. This move came as a surprise since iphones conception took place 5 years before Adobe took this step in 2012. Adobe’s convergence of Flash from just animation software to a multimedia plug-in brought in enormous diversification of uses for this multimedia platform. But its weakness as a third party plug-in for a browser; to display dynamic content, soon brought in disgruntlement to developers.
Every technological innovation has a bell-curve graph. If the time required to adapt is less, the technology has a longer shelf life. Flash served its purpose as a spark to ignite the flame for new platforms which deliver interactive and dynamic web content. HTML5 is slowly and gradually conquering Flash’s market and a time will come when Flash would be termed as an obsolete technology.