Tracking the Flash Player in Chrome - none of your business

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As a Windows user, I prefer Google's Chrome browser both for security reasons and because of the way it self-updates the browser and the embedded Flash player. Still, every now and then, I invoke "About Google Chrome" to check that the silent self-update is working.

In the old days when Chrome said it was up to date, it was up to date. At some point, however, Chrome started to lie, at least to Windows users.

When Adobe released a new version of the Flash player, Chrome would report that it was up to date even though it was still using the old version of the Flash player. I have seen it do this many times, sometimes even days after a new release of Flash. 

As a result, I'm in the habit of manually checking whether Chrome is using the latest Flash player. My site has a list of four Flash tester pages from Adobe that display the installed version of the Flash player. Two of them also report the latest available version. The main tester page, had some interesting results lately. 

On multiple Windows machines it reported that Chrome was using Flash version 11,8,800,115. Yet, it also said that version 11.8.800.97 is the latest and greatest edition of the Flash player for Chrome (below). 


The other Adobe Flash tester page that reports on the latest version also says that the most recent release is 11.8.800.97 (below). 


Rather than Google mis-reporting whether software is up to date, Adobe now seems to be un-informed about the latest version of the Flash player. Pretty surprising since its their software.

But it's not just Adobe that hasn't bothered documenting things. Google too, didn't see fit to mention anything about Flash when they updated Chrome on August 20, 2013

So, how did I learn that the Flash player in Chrome was updated on August 20th? Wikipedia.  

Volunteers maintaining Wikipedia do a better job of documenting the latest version of the Flash Player than either Adobe or Google. I guess it's just none of our business. 

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