The beta version of Flash Player 10.3 gave way Thursday to the release version, downloadable freely from Adobe for installation on your Mac. The new build finally restores auto-update capability, which was unstable or unsupported on Mac OS X for quite a while. Now you'll be prompted to patch Flash when necessary (unless you're running the Chrome browser, which packs its own version of Flash).
Up until now, adjusting Flash's preferences and settings was done inside a Flash movie in the browser, which was quirky and a bit confusing for novice users. Now there's an honest-to-goodness System Preferences pane for controlling local data storage, peer-to-peer playback, camera/audio settings, purchased content and updating -- much more convenient. Flash Player now respects your private browsing settings (since 10.1) and will avoid saving any local content if your browser is set to private mode, but now you have a convenient button to clear the cache of all Flash content or block specific sites from storing local data.
Other new features include audio improvements for echo cancellation, video analytics tied to Adobe's SiteCatalyst product, bug fixes and security features. The full change list is here.
Of course, some would prefer to have no truck with Flash Player; we've got your back.
[hat tip MacStories]