Flash Player updates missing in action on Android

It was all over the news yesterday that Adobe updated their Flash Player with a large number of bug fixes. They did so on every platform that it supports, including Android. Or so everyone said.

My Android devices did not get the memo. 

I just tried to update the Flash Player on two Android 4.0 tablets, one Android 2.3 tablet, and my cellphone, also running Android 2.3. In each case, the Google Play Store had no available update, despite the fact that each device is running an old version of the Flash Player. In each case, I verified that both the Play Store and the Flash Player were perfectly functional. 

Interestingly, each Android device is not just missing the current version of the Flash Player, it is also missing the previous update. 

Here are the specifics: 

  • My Android 2.3.4 cellphone had version installed. This version was released around June 9, 2012. The latest version for Android 2 is Before that, version was released at the end of August. 
  • An Android 2.3.5 Wi-Fi tablet also had version installed. 
  • An Android 4.0.4 Wi-Fi tablet had version installed. This version dates to July 11, 2012 (give or take). The latest version for Android 4 is Before that, version was released at the end of August. 
  • Another Android 4.0.4 Wi-Fi tablet also had version installed.  

On each device, the Play Store did not show the Flash Player as being installed. However, it did show up with Settings -> Applications -> Manage applications on v2.3 and with Settings -> Application manager on v4.0. The screen shot below illustrates this on one of the Android 4.0 tablets. 


Not all Android devices are eligible for the Flash Player.

For example, both the oldest (v1) and newest (v4.1) editions of the operating system are excluded from installing the software. And devices that are eligible, had to have the Flash Player installed prior to August 15, 2012 in order to qualify for security updates. Adobe explained this back in June: 

Beginning August 15th we will use the configuration settings in the Google Play Store to limit continued access to Flash Player updates to only those devices that have Flash Player already installed. Devices that do not have Flash Player already installed are increasingly likely to be incompatible with Flash Player and will no longer be able to install it from the Google Play Store after August 15th.

That said, all four devices that I tested are eligible for Flash Player updates. 

Is it just me? If you are running Android 2.x, 3.x or 4.0, and, had the Flash Player installed prior to August 15th, leave a comment detailing which version is currently installed and whether the Play Store shows an available update. 

I contacted Adobe and will provide updates, if I hear back from them. 

Update October 14, 2012: Mystery explained. See  How to install Flash Player updates on Android devices and the comment below by Forrest Erickson. 

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