macOS Sierra Rightly Banishes Adobe Flash, Disabling Plugin By Default In Safari 10

At its annual WWDC conference being held this week in San Francisco, Apple announced that it would be transitioning its long-running Mac OS X to "macOS". Based on the initial screenshots we've been given, there's not going to be a large departure from what we're used to from OS X, but the move is still notable considering OS X has been the chosen name for 15 years. There's a lot of history there.

Well, there's also going to be history made with macOS Sierra, as Safari 10 is going to be shipping with common 'legacy' plugins disabled by default. That of course includes Adobe's much-loathed Flash plugin, one of the largest gaping holes of computer security in recent (and even not-so-recent) years.

macOS Sierra

At the official WebKit blog, the reason behind disabling these old plugins is given: current technologies replace them. It really is that simple. HTML5 can replicate most of what these outdated plugins can, but is far more secure - because it was built from the ground up to be.

A big reason for this post is to nudge developers who still rely on these old plugins to begin transitioning away from them. We'd argue that this probably should have been done for a while, as the pending death of plugins like Flash isn't new to anyone.

None of this means that these plugins will be impossible to use, though. In effect, it seems like they'll still be installed, but simply won't be active. If a person goes to a website that doesn't have an HTML5 backup, a user will be given an option to enable Flash on that page, either every time, or once (which is recommended).

If you're a developer who needs to get into work mode here, Apple has some additional tips for you at its blog post. First order of business? Install macOS Sierra.