I was suprised when I opened Scratch recently because the whole look had changed. It turned out that new version was released on January 2, 2019. It’s called Scratch 3.0.
The new look itself doesn’t affect much on functionality, but there are some completely new features. First of all, I’d like to notify plugins.
You can access plugins form left down corner of browser window. Click this icon and new window with selection of plugins will appear:
Text to Speech
You can make your program speek with Text to Speech. There are around 10 major languages and some minor, like Icelandic. There are two human-like voices (alto and tenor), two more altered (squeack and giant) and one joke (kitten).
To test translate tool, you must put translation block inside some other block. For example say (Hello) for (2) seconds -block under Looks is good for testing. I tried this and translated English sentences to Finnish and I was surprised how well it worked.
Micro:bit is simple, small device designed by BBC. It has 5×5 LED display, buttons and motion sensors. In comparison to famous Rasperry Pi 3, micro:bit is simpler. With Scratch, you can for example make texts show letter by letter in micro:bit’s display.
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Lego Mindstorm EV3 is more high-end product for building robots from bricks, and it also works with Scratch now.
Old things, new locations
One thing worth noting is that you can set your character’s initial position, direction and size straight away under your game window. This is quick and easy if you want for example to make you sprite certain size. However, if you want to set starting position to object that will move during the game, you must still use go to block at the beginning of your code.
New backdrops and sprites
Of course, there are some new backdrops and sprites and also an option to set suprise sprite or backdrop. That will certainly give some new and refreshing ideas!
You can now play projects on phones but editing has to be done with a computer. (In fact, I managed to make couple lines of code on mobile but it was extremely unpractical.)
There are new editors for painting and sounds. Internet Explorer is not supported. You can set drag mode (whether your sprite can be dragged with mouse or not.)