Apple removes Java plug-in from OS X browsers

Posted: October 19, 2012 in Gadgets, Geek Stuff, Op. Systems
Tags: , , , , ,


Ahh, the puzzle piece icon. It’s a site OS X and iOS users are quite familiar with, due in large part to the late Steve Jobs’ crusade against Adobe Flash Player. Now, many OS X users will start to see alerts when they visit websites that use Java applets because a new Java for OS X update has been pushed out that removes the accompanying browser plug-in.

The JRE is still installed, so desktop applications and games that depend on it will continue to function as they always have. Removing the browser plug-in is mostly about addressing security concerns. Java is one of the most commonly-used attack vectors today, and it’s not even a plug-in that the vast majority of users — whether they’re running OS X, Windows, Linux, or another OS — need to fire up on a regular basis. And when it does spring into action, average web users are probably more likely to see the Java plug-in fire up on a malicious site than a reputable one.

It’s surprising that it took Apple this long to pull browser support for Java on OS X. It’s been two years since the kill order for Flash was issued. When it got the axe, many in the industry figured that Java’s days were numbered, too. Twenty-four months later, Oracle’s browser plug-in has finally been removed.

If you actually need to run Java in your Mac’s browser, you’re not out of luck. You can still visit Oracle’s website to install the plug-in manually. For most Mac users, however, it’s best to just keep calm and carry on. Chances are good that you won’t ever see the missing plug-in icon, and that’s fine. Oracle only issues patches three times a year, and that’s just not frequent enough when the bad guys are constantly digging for new ways to exploit Java.

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