The Flash Player 10 beta (coded “Astro”), a newest version is now out in beta for you to is now available on Adobe Labs for download and test. This version has full of new stuff that should appeal to anyone who is doing any collective devignment (develop/design) with Flash because it spans things like text (finally, right to left!!), 3D, and new filters that you can create yourself with Pixel Bender. This release version has so many great features that we have all been waiting for a long time. Unfortunately we don’t have any tooling support for the beta yet, so if you want to dig in you’ll have to wait for some time from now.
Key New Features……..
Rich Text Layout
With Flash Player 10 we’ve exposed new text APIs that will let you create your own text rendering controls. We’re going to be releasing a bunch but if there are things you want to do, you’ll be able to create your own as well. We’ve now got support for bi-directional text, vertical text, and complex scripts along with new layout and flow options. This should meet and exceed what you can do in HTML today and with this release text in Flash Player will no longer be behind.
We’ve also added new APIs to let you create 3D effects inside of the player. You’ll be able easily create very interactive experiences inside and do animation of 2D planes in the 3D world.
Custom Filters and Effects
With the new Adobe Pixel Bender you’ll be able to create your own filters and effects to use and share with other Flashers. You can do all kinds of visual transformations and bring those into your Flash and Flex apps. It’s going to make for some very impressive interfaces.
We’ve now got the ability in the Flash Player to dynamically change the video quality depending on the bandwidth that you’ve got when you’re watching it. That means we can make sure that you’re getting the best quality possible on the fly. This is probably one of my favorite features in the new Flash Player.
More Hardware Acceleration
We’ve also added hardware support for bitmaps, filters, video, and blend modes. You can push all of the rendering duties for those off to the video card in the users machine which should give an automatic performance boost for a lot of very graphic-heavy applications. We also have an option that will let you specify an HTML attribute when you embed SWFs in the browser to “paint” that SWF using the video card on the machine. This means you’ll get a similar boost to the one you get when you go full screen for video.
Justin reminded me of the new File APIs which let you prompt the user with a File Dialog box and instead of uploading it to a server you can take that file and load it directly into the Flash Player. You’ll also be able to save content from Flash Player directly to the File system which opens up some cool possibilities.
There’s a lots of stuff in the Flash Player 10 and I’m excited to see what you think. The player team keeps packing a ton of stuff in. If you’ve got suggestions for Flash Player 11, let us know. And thanks for giving Flash Player 10 an early spin.
Follow these links to learn more about the new features of Flash Player 10 and launch the feature tour videos and Pixel Bender demonstration:
Final Note: My guestimate is that there’s an alpha in the adobe’s cupboard there somewhere already ….