This week, the forces of good, safe online content continued their quest to rid the internet of Adobe's constantly found-to-be unsafe Flash technology, with the official release of Chrome 55. This version, formerly available via only the beta release channels marks the first 'stable channel' release where the search titan's browser defaults to HTML5.
This update is currently rolling out to macOS and Windows machines, and if your copy of Chrome doesn't automatically update itself, it's easy to do it yourself. Click the three vertical dots button, click About and wait for the browser to download the update. Once it's downloaded (and you're OK with any open pages refreshing) click Relaunch to update to version 55.
You'll want to make the jump to version 55 soon if you want better battery life, a more stable browser (I see alerts that Flash crashed on a daily basis) and a safer internet. Flash earned its deservedly bad reputation thanks to report after report of ne'er-do-wells using its vulnerabilities to attack users systems. Often, malware gets injected into ads and then loads itself onto systems when the advertisement is displayed.
Chrome will only allow Flash if a site doesn't offer an HTML5 alternative. 9to5Google reports that Flash will also play on those sites in the top 10 websites for the next year, which include Yahoo, Twitch.tv and Amazon.
When you navigate to other websites, Chrome will prompt users to enable Flash the first time they visit. Hopefully, enough users will decline to load Flash, which is often used as a malware attack vector, for web developers to stop using it and move over to HTML5.
Chrome has inched towards this move for a number of years, starting in 2014 with Chrome 42, which set some Flash as click-to-play. In September of 2015, version 53 blocked Flash-based analytics and other elements, which Google claimed was the source of more than 90 percent of Flash usage.
Chrome Browser Tips
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