While it’s certainly been a long time coming, YouTube has finally – at long last – made the
switch from Flash over to HTML5… and no one really even seems to care.
Just a few years ago, the mere thought of Flash being replaced was absolute and complete blasphemy. Since then, however, things have changed considerably, and Adobe’s Flash has become increasingly less relevant to the online world at large. So much so that when YouTube finally decided to kick Flash to the curb and move ahead into the future with HTML5, no one even batted an eyelash.
While many people might think that YouTube simply turned a switch and things changed to HTML5 overnight, this is most certainly not the case. If it were, they would have made the switch a long, long time ago.
Many things needed to come together to make the switch possible, in fact.
First of all, buffering problems (a la MediaSourceExtensions) had to be fixed. Next, they needed a powerful codec ready to roll (in this case, VP9), in addition to powerful encryption methods and WebRTC support. Lastly, users needed a reliable, bug-less full-screen viewing experience.
The benefits of HTML5 extend beyond web browsers, interestingly enough. It’s now being
utilized in smart TV’s and other similar streaming devices.
When it’s all said and done, you can most certainly mark this specific day on your calendar as the official culmination of the decline of Flash. Either that, or you can simply call it the official death date – it’s up to you.