Adobe Labs, never the sort of developer to take a proper break, has released version 10 of their ubiquitous Flash Player. Although the application is still in development, you can still give it a try by downloading it from the Adobe Labs page. Flash Payer 10, code named “Astro”, comes with a number of major enhancements.
In a bid to keep programmers away from Microsoft’s Silverlight, Adobe have added many customization features. For one, you can create your own filters and effects and share them on the Adobe Exchange site with other users. It’s worth taking a look at this site as there are already a lot of excellent elements available. If you have the Pixel Bender Toolkit set up, you’ll be glad to know that you can still use it to create your own graphics and effects.
Another way of keeping the developer crowd happy is by integrating a number of APIs for 3D effects, drawing, and sound. Adobe claims 3D effects will be “fast, lightweight and native” and that, thanks to the APIs, even more advanced effects will be easier to create by anyone. As for drawing, the most notable feature is that you’ll be able to draw “sophisticated shapes” directly instead of painfully coding them. Last but not least, audio enhancements will come with the use of both Pixel Bender and ActionScript, which should let you carry out “application-level audio mixing”. Looking into the release notes, I’ve also noticed a new Speex Audio Codec and dynamic streaming.
But enough words, the best way to really experience the new features in Flash Player 10 is to install it, and watch the demo video created by Adobe.