Flash Player 9 Update Beta on Adobe Labs – bugfixes, Vista support and new full-screen mode feature

The beta version of an upcoming update for Flash Player 9 is now available on Adobe Labs. This release contains bug fixes, adds Vista support to the ActiveX player, and also includes a feature that I think you will all be excited about … full-screen mode in the web players.

I know the first question that just popped into your head is “What about Linux?” The answer is: QE has not skipped a beat and is starting the beta certification of the Linux player which will go live on Adobe Labs when it passes the certification tests. You’ll have to estimate when you think that will be on your own. ;-) Yes, it will be the same version as what was released today in the Win/Mac beta on Adobe Labs.

Ok, now back to full-screen mode. There is an article on Adobe Labs that describes how to use this feature, which includes new ActionScript 3.0 class files for Flash and Flex, a publishing template, and sample code. You can use full-screen mode for any type of Flash content or application, but we did consider Flash video applications the primary use case for this initial implementation. There are a few security-related restrictions that you need to be aware of, as they will limit the usefulness of full-screen for some types of interactive content. We hope to address these limitations in future versions of the Flash Player as we continue to develop this feature.

Developers should understand the following end-user security-related restrictions and design content accordingly. (These restrictions apply to the Flash plugin and ActiveX control, but not to the Flash standalone player or Flash projectors.)

* To enable full screen, you must add a new object and embed tag parameter – ‘allowFullScreen=true’ – to your html.
* An overlay dialog appears when the movie first enters full screen mode, instructing the user how to exit and return to normal mode. The dialog appears for a few seconds, then fades out.
* The ActionScript that initiates full-screen mode can only be called in response to a mouse click or key press.
* Users cannot enter text in text input fields while in full-screen mode. All keyboard input and key-related ActionScript is disabled while in full screen mode, with the exception of the keyboard shortcuts that take the viewer out of fullscreen mode.

Another enhancement that was added based on developer feedback is the the ADDED_TO_STAGE and REMOVED_FROM_STAGE events to allow a DisplayObject to monitor and know when it can or cannot access its stage property. The ADDED_TO_STAGE event is dispatched to a DisplayObject when it (or the tree in which it is contained) is added to the stage. The REMOVED_FROM_STAGE event is dispatched to a DisplayObject when it (or the tree in which it is contained) is removed from the stage.

For a list of publicly reported issues fixed in this release, see the release notes.

Please play around with, comment on, and file bugs against the new full-screen mode and the Vista compatible player. As with our standard public betas, we invite you to test the beta player to ensure we have not introduced any backwards compatibility issues. The Flash Player Team thanks you!!!

And stay tuned for the Linux beta announce…