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Adobe Flash is a multimedia software platform used for creating animation, rich web applications, desktop applications, mobile apps, mobile games, and embedded web browser video players. Flash displays text, vector graphics, and raster graphics to provide animation, video games, and applications. It enabled streaming of audio and video and could capture mouse, keyboard, microphone, and camera inputs.
Artists can create Flash graphics and animation using Adobe Animate (formerly known as Adobe Flash Professional). Software developers can create applications and video games using Adobe Flash Builder, FlashDevelop, Flash Catalyst, or any text editor in combination with the Apache Flex SDK. End users can view Flash content through Flash Player (for web browsers), Adobe AIR (for desktop or mobile apps), or third-party players such as Scaleform (for video games). Adobe Flash Player (available on Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux) enables end users to view Flash content using web browsers. Adobe Flash Lite made it possible to view Flash content on older smartphones, but has since been discontinued and replaced by Adobe AIR.
The ActionScript programming language enables the development of interactive animations, video games, web applications, desktop applications and mobile applications. Programmers can implement Flash software using an IDE such as Adobe Animate, Adobe Flash Builder, Adobe Director, FlashDevelop, and Powerflasher FDT. Adobe AIR enables full-featured desktop and mobile applications to be developed using Flash and published for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U and Nintendo Switch.
Flash was originally used to create fully interactive websites. However, this approach was discontinued with the introduction of HTML5. Instead, Flash found a niche as the dominant platform for online multimedia content, especially for browser games. Following a 2010 open letter from Steve Jobs stating that he would not approve the use of Flash on iOS devices due to numerous security vulnerabilities, the use of Flash declined when Adobe switched to the Adobe Air platform . Flash Player became obsolete in 2017 and officially discontinued on December 31, 2020. Many web browsers and operating systems are designed to remove Flash Player software at about the same time. Adobe continues to develop Adobe Animate, which supports web standards such as HTML5 instead of the Flash format. 
In the early 2000s, Flash was widely installed on desktop computers and was widely used to display interactive web pages and online games, and to play video and audio content.  Founded in 2005 by ex-PayPal employees, YouTube used Adobe Flash Player to display compressed video content on the web. 
Between 2000 and 2010, many companies used Flash-based websites to launch new products or create interactive company portals.  Notable users include Nike, Hewlett-Packard (better known as HP), Nokia, General Electric, the World Wildlife Fund, HBO, Cartoon Network, Disney, and Motorola.   After Adobe introduced Hardware Accelerated 3D for Flash (Stage3D), Flash websites saw an increase in 3D content for product demonstrations and virtual tours.  
In 2007, YouTube offered videos in HTML5 format to support the iPhone and iPad that did not support Flash Player.  After a controversy with Apple, Adobe stopped developing Flash Player for mobile phones and focused on Adobe AIR applications and HTML5 animation.  In 2015 Google introduced Google Swiffy, a tool that converts Flash animation to HTML5, which Google uses to automatically convert Flash web ads for mobile devices.  In 2016, Google stopped Swiffy and its support.  In 2015, YouTube switched to HTML5 technology by default on most devices.   However, YouTube supported the Flash-based video player for older web browsers and devices through 2017. 
Rich Web Applications 
After Flash 5 introduced ActionScript in 2000, developers combined the visual and programming capabilities of Flash to create interactive experiences and applications for the web.  Such web-based applications were eventually called "Rich Internet Applications"  and later known as "Rich Web Applications".
Between 2006 and 2016, the web service Speedtest.net performed over 9.0 billion speed tests using a utility built with Adobe Flash.   In 2016, due to the decreasing availability of Adobe Flash Player on PCs, the service was switched to HTML5. 
Developers can build Flash web applications and rich web applications in the ActionScript 3.0 programming language using IDEs, including Adobe Flash Builder, FlashDevelop, and Powerflasher FDT. Flex applications were typically built using Flex frameworks such as PureMVC. 
Video games 
Flash video games were very popular on the internet. Portals such as Newgrounds, Miniclip and Armor Games were dedicated to hosting Flash-based games. Popular games developed with Flash include AdventureQuest , Angry Birds , Bubble shooter , clash of clans , Farmville , Hundreds , Machinarium , N , QWOP and Solipskier . [ Quote needed ]
Adobe introduced various technologies for creating video games, including Adobe AIR (to publish games for desktop or mobile platforms), Adobe Scout (to improve performance), CrossBridge (to convert C ++ based games to run in Flash) and Stage3D (to support GPU accelerated video games). 3D frameworks like Away3D and Flare3D made it easier to create 3D content for Flash. [ Quote needed ]
Adobe AIR can be used to create Flash-based mobile games that can be published in the Google Play and Apple App Stores.   
Flash is also used to create interfaces and HUDs for 3D video games using Scaleform GFx, a technology that renders Flash content in non-Flash video games. Scaleform is supported by more than 10 major video game engines including Unreal Engine and UDK, CryEngine and Phyreengine, and has been used to offer 3D interfaces for more than 150 game-sized video titles since its introduction in 2003. [ To edit ]
Film and animation 
Adobe Animate is one of the popular animation programs for low-cost 2D television and commercial animation competing with Anime Studio and Toon Boom Animation. [ Quote needed ]
Notable users of Flash include DHX Media Vancouver for productions like Pound Puppies, Littlest Pet Shop and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic , Fresh TV for Total Drama, Nelvana for 6teen and Clone high , Williams Street for Metalocalypse and Squidbillies , Nickelodeon Animation Studio for El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera , Starz Media for Wow! Impressive! Wubbzy! , among other.
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