Adobe’s Flash has become the target of a lot of negative speak lately. Apple was the first tech giant to drop support for the technology – Steve Jobs has bashed it for being unreliable, filled with security holes and eating away battery life in 2010. Since then the support for Flash is constantly diminishing, with developers relying more and more on alternatives like HTML5 (which has become the go-to solution for mobile) or Unity (which is a worthy alternative when it comes to browser games). But Flash is still around – europalace.com online slots and millions of other games still rely on it.
But not Speedtest.net. Not any more.
Ookla, the company behind the highly popular and long-running internet speed testing service Speedtest.net, has rolled out the first public beta version of the new, HTML5-based internet speed testing product. The interface of the new product is far less good-looking than the Flash version – it’s still in beta, after all – and it sometimes fails to choose the right server automatically, but it works like a charm on all browsers with support for HTML5. Desktop and mobile alike.
Seattle-based Ookla has founded the best known internet speed test of the world in 2006. The service measures the speed and latency of the users’ internet connection against a series of servers located literally all over the world. It measures the data transfer speed of downloads and uploads. The service, turning 10 years old in 2016, has performed over 7.5 billion speed tests to date.
After almost 10 years the company has decided to start testing its HTML5-based desktop browser service. The users find the new version to be quick and simple – but complain that it won’t work if an ad blocker plugin is activated. No wonder – Ookla is a company, relying on ads to make profits.
Speedtest.net is the latest in a row of internet companies dropping support for Adobe’s Flash. The plugin was in the center of a huge scandal this summer, when a group of internet security professionals – the Hacking Team, based in Milan, Italy – has leaked a series of documents about how it used at least three unpatched Flash exploits to take over people’s computers and steal their data. Despite Adobe’s promise to plug the security holes, both leading web browsers at the time (Google’s Chrome and Mozilla Firefox) have pulled support for the plugin. Google has later introduced a new feature in its Chrome browser to automatically pause any Flash advertising it loads. And Facebook’s security chief Alex Stamos has called for Adobe to set an end-of-life date for the plugin.
Speedtest.net will most likely completely migrate to HTML5 soon. Which means another nail in Flash’s coffin – and hopefully not the last one.