Adobe Flash is a development platform for various types multimedia and software, including animations, browser games, web applications and mobile games. Flash is supported on a several different web browsers for the Microsoft Windows, Mac OS C and Linux operating systems, but was replaced by HTML 5 for use on smart phone mobile devices.
In 1993, the California-based software development company FutureWave Software was founded, which released the drawing program SmartSketch as their first product. Shortly after, the program was redesigned as the FutureSplash Animator vector animation tool (shown below).
In December 1996, the software company Macromedia purchased FutureSplash, renaming the product to Adobe Flash and releasing it as both an editor and player. The new version was widely adopted on the web by video game and animation creators following the release of a free browser plugin.
In 1995, the first version of the site Newgrounds was launched, which has been cited as the web's oldest Flash animation portal user-generated community. The site was scarcely updated until after the Macromedia acquisition of Flash in 1996.
Many YouTubers have created video tutorials on creating games and animations using Adobe Flash. As of July 2015, there are over 293,000 search results for the query "adobe flash tutorial."
Flash has been criticized for its poor performance in resource management, frequent requirement of software updates and a variety of security vulnerabilities.
Adobe Flash has gained much notoriety for its frequent release of software updates, which may cause inexplicable crashes or malfunctions for the users if neglected.
As major web browsers and video-hosting platforms began to phase out their support of Adobe Flash for HTML5, many users have complained about experiencing sudden crashes during the playback of a media file.
In 2011, the Mac Security company Intego released a "Year in Mac Security" report, which noted that a trojan virus masquerading as a Flash Player installer had infected Mac OS X users. In early July 2015, several new security vulnerabilities were discovered in Flash, including a hack that allowed cyber criminals to attack a remote target's machine with malicious code. On July 12th, Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos posted tweets calling for Adobe to announce an "end-of-life date for Flash," following the security complaints about the software platform (shown below). On the following day, the software company Mozilla disabled Flash by default in their Firefox web browsers.
On May 10th, 2019, Twitter user @KupoGames tweeted that he had received an email from Adobe alerting him that they had discontinued certain older versions of their Creative Cloud applications and that as a result, he was no longer licensed to use them.
Others reported that they received emails alerting them which specific applications they were no longer licensed to use Photoshop, Premiere, Lightroom Classic, Animate and Media Director. In response to a customer complaint, @AdobeCare tweeted, "Customers who continue to use or deploy, unauthorized versions of Creative Cloud may face potential claims of infringement by third parties. We can not comment on claims of third party infringement, as it concerns ongoing litigation. ^CS." Legal expert Dylan Gilbert told Vice "(Adobe) has the power to force its customers to upgrade to newer more expensive versions at its whim, which illustrates the undue power and influence of EULAs over the lives of consumers. We should be able to own the things we buy.”
User @Biggaybutchbabe tweeted a Who Killed Hannibal? meme about pirating Adobe, gaining over 600 retweets and 2,000 likes (shown below, left). User @maaike posted a joke, gaining over 60 likes (shown below, right).