Help me out, people.
Adobe’s Flash Player is widely used, with almost universal support on PCs. But it’s waning in popularity, and with the success of the iPad (a Flash-free environment) some sites are moving away from it.
So I’m curious: What websites do you use today that require Flash? What would you miss if it went away completely?
I’m especially interested in hearing from people who are already blocking Flash (using add-ins for Firefox and Chrome or ActiveX Filtering in Internet Explorer). Which Flash-using sites have you whitelisted?
You can leave your comments below or write to me directly using this contact form.
PS: No need to tell me why you think Flash sucks or how much you hate it. I’ve got all the input I need on those topics, thanks!
40 thoughts on “What do you still use Flash for?”
twitch.tv and anything that does live streaming video
As an infrastructure guy, many tools, web consoles, etc. are still built on it. Meaning it also needs to be installed on some servers. Primarily, all of VMware’s management tools (vSphere Web Client, vCloud Director mgmt console, etc.) are built on it.
I need Flash to play Zynga Poker — the only Facebook game I like. Also, Flash is required for almost all sports related websites. Not ONE of them has yet moved to HTML5.
My main things are Hulu and Amazon Instant Watch when on a computer. I tend to watch YouTube via Flash but know they offer non-flash as well. None of my other sites have to have Flash or offer flash alternatives.
live.twit.tv deviantart.com and some youtube.com videos mostly
My kids spend too much time on kongregate.com.
With the release of VMware vSphere 5.1, thousands of geeks that eschewed Flash for all purposes will be forced to use it for new features only available in the new vSphere Web Client, which relies on Flash.
Streaming and other web shows like on twitch.tv, twit.tv and Youtube videos that aren’t HTML5 compatible.
I think most of my Flash use is video-based. Watch ESPN, Hulu, etc. Many of those properties are making HTML5 versions or standalone apps, but esp. w/Windows 8, at first the Flash-based version will be the only fallback.
Mostly for video playback on YouTube. The HTML5 player still doesn’t cut it, I think the quality is poorer especially at high resolution.
For illegal movie streaming.
One word: Pr0n 🙂
What’s Flash? 😉
I use Flashblock for security and annoying ad blocking reasons. Here’s my whitelist, not including our business website. This is the list from one of my PCs. The other one (that I don’t have access to at the moment) likely has a lot more on it.
Many restaurant websites still use flash, some web navigation menus are in flash, lots of web video is in flash. I think Pandora still uses Flash, but haven’t checked lately.
Flash for web video sites (including but not limited to Youtube, Vimeo, etc) and those simple little time-wasting webgames from places like kongregate or facebook.
I use is only for video, but the kids need it for some educational/homework sites and also use it for casual games and video.
I use flash only for youtube.com
I’m a trainer by profession, and or online training portal, where we record training materials, currently uses Flash to deliver that content. Thus I need to have it whenever accessing any training materials on our portal, and many other portals that I’ve seen the deliver materials the same way.
I try not to, but the web is still so full of Flash that I get forced a lot.
I finally succeeded in eliminating all Flash from my life a few months ago. I don’t use it at all. I actually managed to uninstall it on my primary workstation. I could not be happier to be rid of Fla-what? VMware just rewrote their atrociously bad C# client? And they did the whole thing in FLASH?!
… well, at least it’s not Java I guess.
I use Flash whenever I want my browser to crash
MLB.TV! Also Netflix and other video streaming sites.
I am a dentist, and I put together some fairly crude animations to demonstrate the ideal and incorrect motions of the mandible and the TMJs. Unfortunately they were at a set resolution from which we have long since evolved, and the animations are too small on my patient screens. Nevertheless, I have not found a good replacement that fills in the positions of an object between location A and location B.
I support a guy who buys used cars for a car dealership from an auction. You can bid on the cars online but that requires Flash. They have an iOS app that lets you see inventory, look at prices for sold vehicles, etc – but you can’t actually buy cars online without a browser that supports Flash. This guy is a zealous iPad lover and just bought a laptop specifically because of this need, which will save him having to physically travel to the auction in order to bid.
I also support a couple of people who use online training videos that still require Flash. A fair amount of this stuff is swiching over to YouTube and HTML5, but even for training companies that are switching to HTML5 or native apps, their older materials tend to still require Flash.
My payroll processing company’s web site requires Flash to browse, search, and select online reports for viewing (even though the reports themselves are in PDF).
And lastly, a couple of friends who bet horse races and other sporting events online. A lot of the sites use Flash streaming and show no sighs of changing.
I see a previous poster covered the obvious one, p0rn.
The bulk of my flash use (and the only site that I have white-listed) is mlb.com, to watch baseball games. Although, as a Red Sox fan, I don’t watch much these days!
I still use the Flash version at YouTube, not even sure if the other video sites like break.com have HTML5 video at all; vimeo.com seems to be broken in IE9 when ActiveX Filtering is on.
Flash video players are still much better than any HTML5 ones. Most significantly to publishers, Flash provides better flexibility with pre-roll ads, streaming, and encryption. Beyond that I think the only thing Flash has going for it is sunk costs.
New Channels ( Indian ).
Streaming video sites and Gmail.
London Olympics Closing Ceremony: Musical Performances uses flash and it is outstanding!
(Set quality to 1080p and click on Full Screen)
P.S. I could have sworn that Ed Bott is really Fat Boy Slim! Funk Soul Brother! (38:30 mark)
Don’t need it anymore, have it on “click to activate”, very rarely happens nowadays. Can’t remember what the last site where I wanted to “click to activate” was… months ago.
Many of the NOAA and University-based WEATHER animations still use Flash. I pointed this out to the NOAA rep at the 2012 AirVenture show put on by EAA (man, that was a wiltingly hot week) and mentioned that they really need to be looking to the future.
Here are some current sites using Flash:
This next radar URL uses something other than Flash since unlike the previous two URLs it plays on the iPhone:
Have fun with the animations – you can get pretty good at predicting the days weather with these!
Hulu.com & Crunchroll
I feel most people, myself included, don’t realize when FLASH is being utilized.
Despite the close ties between Apple and Disney a very large portion of the Disney web properties still use Flash. This sucks since my daughter uses their Disney Kids pages, Disney Digital Books, and a few others that are all rendered in Flash.
We have a family member who visits indemand.com a lot, and I can’t help him find the pay-per-view he’s looking for from my phone or tablet.
How do you keep out comment spam here? Its killing me on my site!
I use Flash to watch Internet TV. Yle Areena lets me watch TV on the Internet. I use it to watch the TV show Bofori. Sometimes other stuff.
I also use Flash to watch the Flash version of TV7 TV channels Internet TV on their web site.
Then there is a web site called Bofori which uses Flash. Bofori is a game where you do tasks. You do these tasks in a city. I watch as my sister does these tasks.
Flash is a great technology. It will naturally die when developers don’t see a need. No need to sacrifice Flash for iPad.
Many of the cloud based tools use Flash – like drawing tools and many innovative tools. As a developer, I do not see any technology that can fully replace this space yet.
I can’t remember the last time I viewed/read/used a website with Flash. I do a lot of my browsing on my iPad though. But still, I haven’t run into any site that said ‘Hey, you need Flash’. I find myself gradually forgetting that Flash ever existed.