Flash Player 10 is finally here! But does it live up to the hype? Previous major releases of Flash Player have each brought with them significant improvements in performance or added functionality. This time around, the guys at Adobe have been tinkering with a few exciting (and a few somewhat drier) enhancements, including: native 3-D transform APIs, new custom ‘Pixel Bender’ filters, dynamic sound generation, hardware accelerated graphics and new video capabilities.
Personally, because I’m always looking for new things that enable us to create innovative and engaging user experiences, I’m a little less excited about new features such as support for right-to-left languages or new audio codecs. But at least there are people out there filling in the gaps, pushing Flash beyond its perceived limits and developing things we can actually use to create edifying experiences, such as papervision, box2d, etc.
Any new features though, even if they aren’t quite as ‘cool’ as the previous additions of webcam or socket server access, are ultimately a good thing. Let’s just hope everyone keeps pushing in the right direction and uses Flash to beautify the web, not just make it more clunky – Shockwave people take note.