Android Central

When Adobe said they wouldn't be developing Flash Player for Android to work with any new versions, they also promised to keep the current version up-to-date with critical fixes and security patches. Once again, they show us that they really mean what they say, and there's another update for Flash in the Android Market. The fixes include events for handling a crash would could lead to code execution, which means potential is there for someone to hijack your system. Adobe is usually pretty good about patching these things before the get exploited, and there are no known instances in the wild of attackers using these methods to compromise Android devices. 

To learn more about what was fixed, have a look at the Adobe Security Bulletin dated March 5. You'll find the Market link after the break.


Reader comments

Adobe Flash Player for Android updated with security fixes


I'm using Chrome as my full time browser at this point, and it's not supported. I'm slightly OCD about my gadgets. I don't like having extra stuff on them that's not being used.

Also, I still wear my tin-foil hat and believe even having it installed drains my battery.

lived in an aluminum RV thinking i wouldnt need a tin foil hat. recently moved into a house - uh oh! went to dollar store
, bought three rolls, one for me and two for the dog

For those who remove Flash from their Android device for whatever reason, how do you view a Flash video, or Flash based site that does not offer an alternative format / app? It seems you are relegating yourself to the same subset (albeit large subset) of the web that iOS imposes on its users. Setting Flash to on-demand is a nice alternative, only used when desired. I recently did a user group presentation on why I prefer Android tablets to the iPad. One of the reasons is Flash availability. Contrary to the FUD that the only Flash sites without an alternate format are games or porn, I displayed several of the too-ubiquitous-for-me screen shots from the iPad of sites that could not display properly without Flash. One was a major aircraft manufacturer demonstrating their latest model, another was a major general tech site reviewing (ironically)the then new iPhone 4S, and the third (of many possible) was a major Boston shopping mall. Although I respect other opinions, I value the ability to use Flash on Android so I can view any web page, or Flash video I encounter while surfing without having to use a desktop OS device to view those pages. Without Flash on Android, the only major tablet that can view the full web is a Windows 7 based tablet which does a fine job, and much better than than most review sites make it out to be after changing about 4 UI size settings. MS missed a major marketing opportunity. Best tablet I have ever used is a Samsung Series 7 Slate.

When I purchased the first iPad, I tried using it for a weekend away to see if it could replace the laptop. I was attending a classic car show, and only wanted to check email / my favorite tech sites before going out, and in the evening. The iPad failed regularly - several times per evening I had to boot the laptop, or use my Nexus One to view Flash videos on non-Apple centric tech sites. Without Flash, we are relegating Android users to the same fate.

I am disappointed that some Android tech sites are not leading the bandwagon for Adobe to continue development of Mobile Flash rather than trashing it like iOS specific, and some general sites do. I would pay for an update to Adobe Flash so I could indeed continue to view the full web from my Android tablets, not the same large subset iOS users are relegated to viewing. A non-tech buddy who was enamored with his iPad after first purchasing it ended up selling it on eBay after about 5 months. One of the reasons for selling it was the lack of Flash, and his receiving the Flash needed message one too many times. Just for the record, his other reason for selling the iPad was it was too heavy / bulky to hold for lengthy ebook reading.

I realize there are security concerns, as there are with every platform, and every app. Have there been "real world" mobile malware Flash attacks, or just proof of concept? The only way to have a security risk free device is to never connect to the network / internet, and never install a 3rd party app.

I respect other opinions, and understand / respect if a user does not wish to install Flash on his personal device(s). One of the nice features of Android is diversity / options. I like the option of viewing the full web on my Android tablets / phones. Flash is needed for full web viewing as some significant sites do not offer, and may never offer alternate format sites.

First, I must say, I enjoy a nice long, well-written post from time to time.

Personally, I don't encounter Flash-only websites too often any more. Most of the sites I visit are fairly tech forward and have caved to the iOS using masses. Also, being a recovering Apple fanboy, I have lingering doubts about Flash that include stability, battery-life impact, and least of all security (I'm a fairly savvy web-user who usually knows what not to click on). On any of the platforms I regularly use, Android, Win7, OSX, Flash has always been one of the most common causes of crashes. I admit, thinking about it as I write this, I haven't run into this much lately.

I have been an Android junkie for a little over 2 years now (including rooting and ROMing), and that whole time, I've gone back and forth with Flash. I installed it when it first came out, but then realized that I wasn't actually using it very much. As I explained in an earlier post, I'm rather OCD on when it comes to my devices. I don't like extra stuff that I'm not using hanging around on there, so it got the ax.

When I bought my Transformer Prime, I put it back on there. I figured with the tablet battery life, that old fear wouldn't be a problem. It still seemed to be a little resource intensive at times, but I chocked that up to it being a mobile browser and moved on. The real culprit behind my latest Flash uninstall is Google. I have switched over to the Chrome Beta as my full time browser on both my Transformer Prime and my Galaxy Nexus. It doesn't support Flash, and as I understand it, will never support Flash. Thus, I had no reason to leave it on there.

It may sound silly, but these are my reasons.