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Google Chrome 88 removes Flash and FTP support

by Mark Tyson on 21 January 2021, 11:11

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Chrome

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Google's Chrome 88 browser has been released with some noteworthy changes. This, the most popular browser for PCs, has removed Adobe Flash support, as well as the legacy support for accessing FTP sites. As for additions, Google has improved Dark Mode support on Windows and Chrome OS, as well as improved password security and implemented tab searches.

The depreciation of Adobe Flash has been well documented over recent years and months. In 2017 Adobe, Mozilla, and Microsoft decided to phase out the plugin in favour of newer rich web technologies. Apple and Mozilla browsers already removed Flash support and Microsoft is set to do so later this month. Adobe officially stopped support for Flash on 31st Dec 2020, and began blocking content playing in Flash from 12th January this year.

As mentioned in the intro and our headline, FTP support has now gone. This feature has been phased out starting in Chrome 86, when it was turned off in pre-release testing channels. Chrome users will now have to seek out sites with coded FTP web interfaces or use an FTP file managing app for this kind of web file access / uploading now. Additionally, Chrome has started to block insecure HTTP (not HTTPS) downloads.

An improved Dark Mode is present in the latest release of Chrome. Themes have been updated for Chrome OS, and in Windows 10 dark mode the scroll bars have at last got a lick of (dark) paint.

Under the hood we have improved password protections. For example a new feature can help users fix weak passwords by creating and storing something much stronger – updating multiple usernames and passwords in one convenient place.

Last but not least the Tab Search feature that arrived for Chrome OS users in Chrome 87 has made it to Chrome 88 for Windows, Mac and Linux. If you enable this feature a triangle in circle icon on the top bar shows all open tabs with a search option.



HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

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Flash should have rightly died a death a long time ago however I was surprised to find a site running old flash games under ruffle (https://ruffle.rs/) the other day. Its a complete emulation layer written in rust!

Not so sure on completely disabling of FTP/HTTP downloads as it still has its place. Why can't it be available as a hidden option?

It'll be interesting to see if Microsoft mirror these changes in Edge (my current choice).
Use Brave instead, free from Google's data tracking.

https://brave.com/download/
Update 88 also brings about the beginning of the end for meaningful ad blocking with the introduction of Manifest v3. You win some you lose some.
A lot of people are uneasy with brave because like Google they are ultimately an advertising company. That's how they plan to make money in the long term.

Despite their young age they also have been caught doing things that are questionable at best, but in my opinion just unethical. One thing was that they whitelisted Facebook (!) without disclosing it or warning users about it. Somebody has to discover it in the code. They did that in order to not break websites for casual users, but that really doesn't explain why they forgot to document that for advanced users. I wouldn't trust brave shield after that.

Another thing is that they use content creators to promote their BAT rewards system, even without the creators knowledge. Brave gave users the impression they could give to creators just by visiting their website. But if the creator isn't verified with brave the BAT the user meant to send them are set aside for some time (90 days I believe, maybe shorter), there is no(!) attempt made to try and notify the creator to verify themselves so they can access the BAT, and after the time is up the money (BAT) goes back to the brave folks, without notifying the user.

Tom Scott discovered that and after it became public brave promised to create an op-out. Not opt-in, opt-out. And that only after their practices were uncovered. Brendan Eich openly stated that opt-in would be bad for their growth, and that's obviously more important than not deceiving user or using unsuspecting content creators.

So now they say that's brave ads are opt-in and all ad-targeting will be done offline. But you'll have to forgive if I'm a bit sceptical about the future development. Who says they aren't going to again make undocumented changes to make it easier for casual users or do something that's legal but unethical to support their own growth?

And even if I didn't had those concerns. Google absolutely and completely controls Chromium. Sure, brave can strip out some trackers and services by Google, but the don't want to fundamentally change Chromium (otherwise they would not use it).
cheesemp
Not so sure on completely disabling of FTP/HTTP downloads as it still has its place. Why can't it be available as a hidden option?

Specifically about the downloading from FTP (rather than HTTP) - it NEVER had its place. FTP always was and always will be a completely broken protocol that has needed to die for a very, very long time. Like since it was created :)