Whilst currently working on their next major release, Adobe Flash Player 11 (which will include the next generation of Molehill GPU-accelerated 3D APIs), Adobe Labs has made the first Release Candidate of the new version of Flash Player available for Windows, Mac and Linux (and mobile devices in the near future).
The main goal of the previous version (10.2) was video improvement and hardware acceleration, so it seems logical that Adobe has focused on audio - and by extension, video-conferencing - in this latest version, concentrating on areas in which HTML5 cannot fulfil.
This update features enhanced user privacy protection and several Audio and Control Panel improvements:
- Control Panel: in previous versions the panel was a remote SWF hosted by macromedia.com. Now, it is native, and can be accessed directly from the system preferences or the control panel.
- Privacy Control: thanks to better integration with browsers, users will easily be able to clear the local flash storage. (Firefox 4, Internet Explorer 8+ and future versions of Safari and Chrome)
- Microphone Enhanced Options: to provide a better online experience (in-game voice chat, conferencing, telephony etc.), Adobe has added several new functions to the Microphone API - noise suppression, automatic gain control and voice activity detection.
- Video Analytics: 10.3 makes the implementation of Adobe SiteCatalyst easier. Providing media measurement for Flash, it allows companies to obtain real-time, aggregated reporting of how their video content is distributed, what the audience reach is, and how much video is played; with two lines of code.
You can download Flash Player 10.3 RC from Adobe Labs website if you feel like testing it before the official release.