Adobe Flash Player Adds Full-screen Support
Adobe’s new Flash Player 9.0 (released this summer) will make Flash video even more dominant in the future, offering better speed, improved security, and many more new capabilities. We’ve used Flash for a long time, and we started using Flash video early on, in 2002 with Flash Player 6. We’re big advocates of it.
We’re especially excited that the beta 9.0 player sports a true full-screen mode and adds support for Linux-based computers. One of the main criticisms of Flash video has always been that it lacked a full-screen mode—something that Windows Media Video supports. With full-screen support in Flash, however, the Web will now have a more comprehensive video solution that is supported on PC, Mac, and Linux.
This is an exciting development. Video is becoming and increasingly important part of the Web, and this will offer product developers and content creators even more options. We are currently working with full-screen mode with some of our clients and our own internal tools, guessing that these beta features will be officially released in 3 months or so.
A brief history of Flash video:
In 2002, with the release of Flash MX (Flash Player 6), video support was added to the Flash player. Up to this point, video on the Web was usually delivered via Apple QuickTime, Microsoft Windows Media, or Real Media. These weren’t universal solutions: Windows Media was mostly for PC users, QuickTime best for Apple, and Real wasn’t easy to install or manage on either platform.
With the release of Flash video, the Web finally had a common, multiplatform video solution. Flash video offered more customizability. It could be placed anywhere, and custom controls were easy to create. And it was easy to install. Now, over 95% of Web users have Flash 6, 7, or higher installed, and it’s being used on mobile devices like cell phones. Finally, universality.
Flash video really helped us solve a lot of problems for our clients. In 2004, we brought it to the Timberwolves and to the NBA—we created a sponsorship-driven video player that offered fans exclusive content from home games: usually, free highlight reels from the most recent games. It was a fun win-win for our client and the fans.