Today Adobe Labs released a new test version of Adobe Flash codenamed “Square”. It's basically Adobe Flash 10.2. The release page doesn't really contain much about what's new about the beta.
However, what caught most people's attention is the fact that the company has released a 64-bit version of its Flash player for all of the large platforms (Windows, Mac, and Linux). This is absolutely big news and will definitely help browser makers to start pumping out 64-bit versions. Microsoft and Mozilla have both released 64-bit betas with Microsoft being the first to release a stable 64-bit version with the release of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition back in 2005. Two of the major players who are Google and Opera are lagging behind in creating 64-bit browsers. With the release of Flash 10.2, we can finally see a real push for 64-bit browsing. In fact, I'm using the Minefield x64 development build for Windows which is the development version of the upcoming Mozilla Firefox 4.0 while typing this.
There's really not much to note about this Flash release since there's really no real special features. Although, this new Flash build is a bit choppy when its playing Flash video but perhaps this is because it's a beta build. Hopefully, Adobe will fix this before the shipping version of Flash 10.2. All the features of 10.1 have been baked into this release and seeing how there's so little new features, this release was named correctly, it's just a minor update to 10.1. However, this is not to say that Adobe can't add more features along the way. Perhaps this is going to be Flash 11? Who knows.
YouTube is a bit choppy especially when playing at resolutions 720p or higher and trying to access the video player's controls. It slows down the video but not to the point where your browser would assume that Flash has crashed. Hardware acceleration is definitely noticeable since the video played smoothly without tearing either which is really good.
This “Square” preview is definitely recommended if you want to see what Adobe's up to for 64-bit browsing, but another point for them releasing this was because of Internet Explorer 9 which I will test soon.
The current version of this “Square” preview is: 10.2 d161, and the plugin file for the 64-bit build for Windows is called: NPSWF64_10_2_161.dll. You can download the build here.