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I'm one of today's best-selling computer book writers, with more than 15 million books in print.

This website keeps you up-to-date on my books, and your computers. Each week, I answer a reader's question on-line.

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How do I add Adobe Flash to my new Android tablet?

Adobe isn't updating Flash for newer Android tablets.Q: I love your books, and I’m awaiting Samsung Galaxy Tab for Dummies. I am not able to download Adobe Flash for my tablet, and I wonder if you can help.

I can stream videos on my desktop, but I’m devastated I cannot do the same on my Samsung Galaxy Tablet. It runs Android version 4.0.3.

A: I didn’t write Samsung Galaxy Tab For Dummies. (This page lists most of the books I’ve written.) But I did write Motorola Xoom For Dummies, so I’ve kept up on Android tablets.

And unfortunately for you, Adobe stopped supporting Flash after version 4.0.x. Since your tablet runs Android version 4.0.3, Adobe doesn’t support Flash on your tablet.

Oddly enough, Flash still works on older Android tablets that haven’t been updated to Android’s latest operating system.

Adobe’s Flash is dangling from the edge of technology’s ever-turning treadmill. Desktop computers are slowly moving to other video standards. And portable devices never offered much support, either:

  • iPad: Apple’s iPad never supported Flash, which was the first nail in Adobe Flash’s coffin.
  • Android: Android phones and tablets once supported Flash, but it’s being phased out from newer gadgets.
  • Windows 8: Windows RT tablets support Flash on some sites, but only the handful of sites that Microsoft has pre-approved. (Windows 8 tablets can run the full Windows desktop, so they still support Flash.)

Most popular web sites know Flash won’t be around much longer, and they’re quickly converting their content to a more universal format. (The iPad’s lack of Flash support was a major driver of the anti-Flash movement.)

Adobe’s web site lists the Android devices capable of supporting Flash. The list is rather confusing, though, as Samsung’s given the Galaxy Tab name to many of its devices.

Tip: To find out what version of Android runs on your tablet, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Settings menu or app.
  2. From the Settings menu, tap Device.
  3. Look in the System Version section.

If your tablet runs version 4.0 or above, you won’t be able to run Flash.


Comment from lavernerussell
Time December 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm

thank you ,but what can i run so i can download an do others on my samung tablet,flash abode won’t run.

Comment from Andy Rathbone
Time December 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Laverne: There’s really very little you can do. Flash is on its way out. The best thing you can do is write an e-mail to the website that still has Flash videos. Tell them the site is inaccessible to you until they convert their videos to something that can be viewed by iPad and Android tablets.

Comment from J Harrison
Time March 5, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Hi – I’m not happy about the Flash thing either. If you download a web browser called Puffin (free version is only available a few hours per day so pay the ~$3.00 for the full version). I’ve been using it for a while and it is OK.

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