My first hour with Flash CS5

What can you expect when you get your hands on CS5? We've asked some lucky early users to report on their first hour with their favourite CS5 component. First up: Flash wizard Matt Booth.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a beta version of Flash CS5. I've always found moving over to a new version of Flash a bit time consuming but thankfully, due to the Flash CS5 interface looking virtually identical to CS4, my first hour with it was about looking at the new features rather than searching for all my usual windows and tools.

Obviously the first thing I wanted to look at with CS5 was the iPhone packager. This would have enabled me to build small Flash based apps or proof of concepts and drop them onto my phone. Now, since working out how to do this, Apple have..Well you know what they've gone and done; which renders this major feature redundant. Ah well!

Next was to look at the new features. Not the obscure ones that I probably won't use such as the Deco tool, but useful ones like the improved FLV playback component, TLF (Text Layout Framework), and what will save me the most time, Code Snippets and Code Integration.

The FLV playback component has been much improved. Now you have full playback control of your imported FLV there on the stage, without having to publish. You can also add real-time cuepoints.

TLF text is going to be useful for linking text fields and for displaying lists with the column feature. Not having this feature never changed the way I design a site but it will now mean a lot less coding to achieve.

Code Snippets and Code Completion were features I really wanted to test. Now we finally have this, my time coding is going to be improved. You can also do all your coding in Flash Builder. This isn't something I've tested yet but will do on the start of my next project.

Luckily as Flash CS5's improvements are more than the just iPhone packager I think it's a version worth buying. Who knows whether Apple will go back on their decision, or if Adobe will find a way around it.

Matt is a digital creative who has worked with agencies such as Poke, Domani Studios and McFaul, and for brands such as Red Bull, Calypso and Hudson Jeans. His folio can be viewed at www.flashtemple.com