Flash and Shockwave are free browser plug-ins from Adobe Systems. The following links will help you find current versions of Flash and Shockwave on Adobe's website for any operating system that they support:
Web-based Flash media is not specifically designed for mobile use, but may work acceptably in Flash-enabled browsers on a variety of mobile devices:
- Chrome browser on Chrome OS, Mac OS X, or Windows OS - Keeps Flash up-to-date when the browser auto-updates.
- Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari browsers on Mac OS X or Windows OS - Recent versions of Flash will either auto-update or prompt the user, based on user settings. The update affects all installed browsers.
- Chrome browser on Android OS - Does not include any support for Flash.
- Built-in browser on Android OS (certain smartphones and tablets) - Included native Flash support in the built-in browser, starting with Android OS 2.2 (May 2010), but discontinuedthis after Android 4.0 (June 2012).
Web-based Shockwave media will only work in web browsers on Mac OS X and Windows computers. Adobe has never developed a Shockwave plug-in for other operating systems (including mobile devices), and does not intend to in the future.
Home users can usually just download the default ("Slim") installer for Shockwave. However, when installing Shockwave on managed computers or on a protected network, we recommend using the "Full" installer. This will pre-install all the "Shockwave XTRA" files required by some of our activities, rather than risk that the "Slim" installer will silently fail to download necessary components in the background.
To test whether the plug-ins are functioning on your system, you may use Adobe's plug-in testers, or visit our online computer test.
When possible, we design web content to be accessible to the greatest number of customers, at the time of publication. When new web standards are introduced, older content may not be republished, especially if this would remove compatibility for older platforms. Newer platforms often have ways to access the original formats.
Developers have several options to try to adapt Flash activities for use without a browser plug-in (HTML5 for the web, or embedding in desktop and mobile apps). However, this is neither fast nor automatic; it is a significant business decision to undertake re-engineering and republishing an entire set of activities.