Announcement: Retiring Adobe Flash Flipbooks

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We will be removing Adobe Flash-based Flipbooks from the Uberflip platform on December 31, 2020. Learn why we're doing this, and how it affects you.


 

What's changing?

Adobe has announced that they will "end-of-life" Flash Player on December 31, 2020. As a result, Uberflip's Flash-based Flipbooks viewer will stop working on January 1, 2021, and we will be removing the Flash-based Flipbooks viewer functionality from the Uberflip platform in early January.

Only customers who are still using Flash Flipbooks are affected by this change. As of January 1, 2021, any Flipbooks that are still set up to use the Flash Flipbooks viewer will remain accessible, but visitors must choose to use the alternative HTML5-based Flipbooks viewer instead. To provide a better user experience, we strongly recommend configuring your Flipbooks to automatically open in the HTML5 viewer before this date. Please read on for further details.

Additionally, note that some features which were available with Adobe Flash-based Flipbooks are not available with (or not applicable to) HTML5-based Flipbooks. Please refer to the Additional information section for a full list.

 

Why is Uberflip making this change?

In July 2017, Adobe announced their plan to end-of-life Flash Player by December 31, 2020. After this date, Adobe will consider Flash Player a "dead" technology, and will no longer distribute, update, or support it. Adobe will also prompt all remaining users to uninstall Flash Player, and will block Flash Player from displaying content after the end-of-life date even if it remains installed. For these reasons, Uberflip can no longer support the Flash-based version of the Flipbooks viewer, and must retire it.

We understand that some of our customers are still using Flash-based Flipbooks, and will be disappointed by this news. However, better and more secure technologies (i.e. HTML5) have largely replaced Flash on the web, and most browser vendors have blocked Flash by default for several years now. In fact, Uberflip has already partly deprecated Flash Flipbooks: due to the increasing number of web users who do not have Flash (including mobile users), Uberflip has for some time now offered an alternative HTML5 version whenever a Flash Flipbook is displayed.

Although Uberflip has supported the Flash-based Flipbooks viewer for as long as possible, the writing is on the wall: with the end-of-life date set by Adobe, Uberflip has no choice but to retire Flash-based Flipbooks at the end of 2020.

 

Who is affected by this change?

This change only affects customers who are still using Flash-based Flipbooks, i.e. those who have Flipbook Folders set to the Flash on Desktop/HTML5 on Mobile setting. 

Customers who are only using non-Flash Flipbooks types (i.e. HTML5, HTML5 (SVG) and Native PDF) are not affected by this change.

 

Does this mean I can't use Flipbooks at all anymore?

The Flipbooks product is not going away: you will still be able to create and publish Flipbooks using any of the other available options, i.e. HTML5, HTML5 (SVG), and Native PDF. Only the Adobe Flash option is being retired.

 

What do I need to do to prepare?

After December 31, 2020, your visitors will still be able to view Flipbooks configured to use the Flash-based viewer, but the viewer itself will no longer work. Instead, visitors must manually select the backup HTML5 option to view any Flash-based Flipbook:

image.png

This experience may be confusing to your visitors. As a result, we strongly recommend that you switch your Flash Flipbooks Folders to the HTML5 setting as soon as possible. This will automatically launch your Flipbooks in the HTML5 viewer, providing a much smoother experience for your visitors.

To make the switch, simply change the Reader Version dropdown on any applicable Folder from Flash on Desktop/HTML5 on Mobile:

image.png

 To HTML5:

image.png

The change will take effect immediately, and Flipbooks within that Folder will now automatically open in the HTML5 viewer right away.

(You may also choose a different option, but we recommend using the HTML5 option as it is the closest equivalent to Flash Flipbooks.)

Because certain features of Flash Flipbooks are not available in HTML5, we also recommend that you review the Additional information section (below) prior to December 31, in order to understand how your and your visitors' experience may change.

 

What will happen if I don't do anything?

As noted above, Flipbooks set to use the Flash viewer will still be viewable with HTML5 after December 31, but the user experience will not be ideal.

In addition, Uberflip will be retiring the Flash Flipbooks technology from our platform by January 15. In practical terms, this means that the Flash on Desktop/HTML5 on Mobile option will be removed from the product, and it will no longer be possible to create new Folders with this setting, or to enable this setting on existing Folders. At the same time, any Flipbooks Folders that are still set to the Flash on Desktop/HTML5 on Mobile setting will be switched to the HTML5 setting automatically.

Note

Flipbooks Folders that are already set to HTML5, HTML5 (SVG), or Native PDF will not be affected by this change in any way.

 

Additional information

The HTML5 Flipbooks viewer supports the vast majority of features that were present in the Flash Flipbooks viewer. However, certain specific features are not available. These are primarily features that Uberflip has retired because they were not widely used, or were no longer necessary/applicable with HTML5.

The main features from Flash Flipbooks that were not implemented in HTML5 Flipbooks are:

  • The Custom Embed widget (sidebar displaying custom code)
  • The Interface Language option (an option to change the language of the Flipbooks viewer UI)
  • The My Account tab (an options tab displayed in the Flipbooks viewer UI as part of Subscribers functionality)
  • Various Flash-specific Desktop Flipbooks toolbar functions and options
  • Various Flash-specific PDF-to-Flipbook processing options

Below is a detailed breakdown of the Flash Flipbooks viewer features that are not available in the HTML5 Flipbooks viewer. Any workarounds or alternatives are noted where available.

 

Settings: Basics > Options

These settings are related to language options for Flipbooks. The overall feature has been retired, as the HTML5 viewer has few text labels, and does not have text tooltips.

Flash Feature Description HTML5 Alternative
Interface Language Sets the language of the Flipbooks interface (toolbar labels and text tooltops) None (retired feature)

 

Settings: Basics > Options > Desktop Flipbook Options

These settings are related to the behavior of the Flash Flipbooks viewer on desktop, in particular the toolbar shown at the top. Some portions of this feature have been retired, while for others, equivalent functionality is available in the HTML5 viewer or the browser.

Flash Feature Description HTML5 Alternative
Enable crop, print/save tool Makes the Crop tool available in the toolbar Replaced with screenshot functionality (browser or third-party tool)
Allow downloading selected pages Makes the Download selected pages tool available in the toolbar Replaced with Allow downloading original PDF option
Allow printing Makes the Print tool available in the toolbar If Allow downloading original PDF option is enabled, users can download and print PDF
Enable page-turning sound effect Makes a sound effect play when a Flipbook page is turned None (retired feature)
Enable the links list Makes the Links tool available in the toolbar None (retired feature)
Hide bottom thumbnail navigation Removes the thumbnail preview images of next/previous Flipbook pages shown at the bottom of the viewer None (retired feature)
Page flipping speed Sets the speed of the page turn animation None (retired feature)
Page flip effect Sets the type of effect used for the page turn animation Replaced with a more modern "slide" effect
Default Zoom Level  Sets the initial zoom level of the Flipbook when it is displayed None (retired feature)

 

Settings: Widgets > Custom Embed

These settings are related to the Custom Embed widget, a banner shown to the left of the Flash Flipbooks viewer that can contain custom HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The overall feature has been retired.

Flash Feature Description HTML5 Alternative
Your Embed Code Specifies the code to be displayed in the embed widget banner None (retired feature)
Specify a width Determines the width of the embed widget banner None (retired feature)
Activate the custom embed widget Enables the embed widget banner None (retired feature)

Tip

The Custom Embed widget was designed for an experience in which Flipbooks are displayed in the standalone Flipbooks viewer. We no longer recommend this, as it is bad for SEO. Instead, we recommend embedding the Flipbooks viewer in another webpage. Doing this also eliminates the need for the Custom Embed widget, as you can simply place the same content onto the page where the Flipbooks viewer is embedded.

 

Settings: Advanced > Parser Defaults

These settings are related to the Flash Flipbooks parser, which analyzes PDF content and processes it into a Flash Flipbook. Because these particular settings are not applicable to the HTML5 Flipbooks parser, they have been removed.

Flash Feature Description HTML5 Alternative
Default Image DPI Sets the quality level of images processed from a PDF into a Flash Flipbook All images rendered at 300 DPI and 100% quality by default
Force Vectorization of Complex Objects Sets the page size threshold to turn complex objects present in the source PDF into vector images Use the HTML5 (SVG) Flipbooks Folder option to convert PDF text and shapes into vector images

 

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