New PlayBook Flash Update Fixes Security Vulnerabilities, Does Not Prevent Flash Videos From Crashing
Research in Motion has begun to push out a new patch for its nascent BlackBerry PlayBook to fix issues regarding vulnerabilities in Adobe’s Flash Player:
Earlier this week, Adobe issued an update for Adobe Flash Player, which addresses an issue that affects all systems running Flash. As such, a new version (version 22.214.171.1242) of the BlackBerry Tablet OS will soon be available to all BlackBerry PlayBook tablet users, which contains an updated version of Adobe Flash Player within it. This free update can be downloaded over-the-air from your BlackBerry PlayBook. While there are no known reports of any BlackBerry PlayBook users being affected by the Adobe Flash issue, we encourage all BlackBerry PlayBook users to update to this newest version of the BlackBerry Tablet OS.
The update brings the OS version on the PlayBook to BlackBerry Tablet OS version 126.96.36.1992, and the update, sized at 278 MB, has begun to appear on devices as it is already being pushed out by RIM. If you haven’t received a notification to update your PlayBoook, you’ll want to check for updates by performing the following steps:
1. Swipe down from the top to pull down the settings menu with the swipe down gesture.
2. Tap on software update on the left column, and then click check for updates.
As PlayBook tablets are only available in WiFi-only models right now, be sure you’re connected to a wireless WiFi hotspot or network when checking for updates.
The update fixes some security issues identified by Adobe for the Flash Player plugin, but unfortunately, longer streaming Flash videos–like those from ABC, CBS, and NBC–still are crash-prone on the PlayBook. I find that videos under 30 minutes play fine, but those over 30 minutes may crash mid-stream, even after the update.
Interestingly, though, the PlayBook and the Flyer are the two tablets that are capable of playing full NBC video episodes. On other tablets, NBC would detect that the user is on a mobile browser and prevent the video(s) from playing, perhaps due to DRM and licensing restrictions on playback on mobile devices. I find that only select Android devices are capable of NBC video playback and also the PlayBook. Outside the PlayBook and the Flyer, the HTC Thunderbolt is the other device that I’ve tested that’s compatible with NBC videos.