Besides the iPhone export feature that has been the epicenter of the hot discussion since Adobe MAX 2009, recently released Adobe Flash Professional CS5 contains many other features to love. Let’s find out what Adobe team prepared for flash devs this time.
Flash CS5 for iPhone – you got it but you can’t touch it
No doubt, support for iPhone applications was the most anticipated feature in this release. Sadly, but what was once a dream opportunity is now a practically useless capability. The matter is that applications made with Flash will be no longer available for iPhone OS4. And it’s doubtful that Apple will distribute such apps. There is nothing left else for us to do but wait and see how the big As’ jostling turns out.
Coding experience improved
For a long time the code editor in Flash didn’t get enough attention from Adobe. Finally FCS5 changes the situation and the coding experience in Flash has been considerably improved with a few new features. For instance, the code editor now allows the auto-completion for any classes you import into the application. It has also full support for code hints (it works for all properties, parameters and methods) which makes the process very similar to that in Flash Builder. We bet, you will especially love the automatic closing of brackets. These nice additions are going to boost your workflow greatly.
Speaking of other enhancement, we can’t pass by the new code snippets panel. This feature is something many developers have been missing for a long time. Now you can insert commonly used ActionScript code into your project with ease. For example, by simply selecting an object on stage and double clicking on “Rotate Contineously” in the code snippets panel, you can add infinite rotation support to that object. You can also add your own code snippets by editing an XML file.
The new file formats
Flash CS5 shows the debut of the FXG2 format. Comparing to its CS4 forerunner FXG 1.0 it’s much more accurate in sharing of content between different Adobe tools. Adobe Flash Professional now also uses an XML-based file format XFL, which is basically a compressed folder of all the assets and XML metadata describing your Flash project. This feature improves the process of creating content compatible with Flash using the third-party tools.
Text Layout Framework
The new Text Layout Framework engine drastically increases the number of text editing options. Now it’s a native part of the Flash IDE and you can handle and arrange text using the standard Text Tool. Besides the wide range of text layout and formatting options that can be applied to TLF text fields, support for manipulating linked containers is also included. With TLF one you can link two text fields together so that they behave like one text field. This is a great feature for some complicated text layouts. Plus, the new FCS5 also includes an easy to use tool for embedding fonts in your swf.
Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2.0 enable to take advantage of such typical for mobile phones things as accelerometers, gestures and multitouch. To give this an appropriate support Flash CS5 comes with an upgraded version of Device Central that lets you to test these functions without having to upload the application to the mobile phone. This could make the process of basic testing faster and easier.
Video powered up
Flash Professional CS5 shows some improvements in the video experience. Probably the greatest thing about CS5 is that you can play the video right on the stage. Moreover, this video can be manipulated while playing. You can select and change the player skins all while the video is playing. You can also add cue points which will automatically have their time adjust to the current time of the video as it goes.
The aforesaid features are among the major improvements in Flash CS5, but surely they are not exhaustive. No doubt, Flash CS5 is a huge step forward and will make life for flash programmers so much easier. This is a must have for devs using Flash in the daily work. Although CS5 might not bring as many core features as CS4 did (3D and IK), it is still a huge upgrade worth getting.