Adobe released Flash Player 11.2 today with a key new security feature – automatic installation of updates.
Flash Player 11.2 adds optional automatic background updates for Windows to make updating to new versions of Flash Player hassle free.
This new update mechanism silently updates Windows computers with the latest Flash Player patches and updates – eliminating the need for users to perform these updates themselves. Other features include:
- New core features for gaming – including mouse lock, relative coordinates, and right and middle–click support
- Extended hardware driver support back to 2008, enabling full hardware acceleration on more computers than ever
- New multi-threaded video decoding architecture, enabling more seamless, smoother playback of full HD video
- New tier of Flash Player premium features for gaming. Premium features allow console-quality game engines to run across browsers with high performance in Flash Player. The premium features also allow developers to take advantage of specialized game tools to build great games
Users of most major web browsers (except Google Chrome – see note below) can download and install Flash Player 11.2 directly from Adobe here. During installation, untick the additional ‘freebie’ (Google Toolbar or McAfee Security Scan) unless you want that as well.
If you use more than one web browser you will need to install Flash Player 11 for each web browser. After installation completes, choose your update method from the options as shown in the example below:
It is recommended to choose ‘Install updates automatically…’ to ensure that future security and feature updates are installed as soon as they are available.
If chosen, the automated installation of future Flash updates will be ‘silent’ i.e. no notifications will appear before, during, or after an update is performed by the Flash Player Background Updater – so there will be nothing for the user to do and Flash will keep itself updated :-)
What About Google Chrome?
Chrome is different because it contains an integrated Flash plugin which should be updated automatically by Chrome – at the time of writing, it has not yet been updated in the latest version of Chrome 17. Many users of Chrome have previously reported problems with the integrated Flash plugin – it sometimes crashes with a message saying: “The following plugin has crashed: Shockwave Flash”.
This new version may help but see the article Shockwave Flash crashes in Chrome if required for tips on how to resolve issues with Chrome’s Flash plugin.
How To Test It?
Open your web browser and visit the Adobe Flash Player test page to check that Flash 11.2 is now properly installed, stable and working ok.
Perhaps the most important new feature for novice users is the option to automatically install future Flash updates.
Previous versions only offered update notifications – users still had to accept the notification then download and install the update which was a step too far for some. Many didn’t know what the notification popups were so just ignored them and Flash quickly became outdated and more at risk of malware attack…
As long as users choose the new automatic install option in Flash 11.2 all future updates will take place without any user intervention – so Flash will keep up to date and more secure.