Teased during the roadmap post late last year, Ben McClintock from Orbx took centre stage today to share the immense number of changes coming to the new Orbx Central. Orbx Central will replace the current FTX Central V3. In his post, he gave a detailed account of what features and benefits the new tool will bring.
The biggest piece of news is that the new tool will be cross-platform ready. So whether you fly in FSX, P3D, X-Plane 11 or Aerofly FS 2, and whether you use Windows, Linux or macOS, Orbx Central will work for you. Downloading and installation can be down across any platform on any sim through Central. The new modern User-Interface will be the same across all platforms and the various new views will make finding new products easier than ever before. You can also use the search functionality to find an airport of your choice.
One of the cooler new features is the fact you can now purchase your products within the application. With a few clicks, you can easily find, purchase and install any Orbx product. You will also be able to save card data and use the built-in one-click purchase and install button.
With updates from Orbx products coming frequently, it can be tough trying to update them all the time. Fortunately, the new automatic update system will update your products automatically when the simulator is not running. You also have the ability to turn this off globally or on a product-by-product basis.
Orbx Central also introduces the ability to finally have Orbx products as ‘Add-On’ packages for Prepar3D. With Orbx products now being able to download and installed anywhere on your PC (or attached hard drives) through the new library system, you can have your products spread throughout and when you re-install a simulator, you won’t have to re-download your many gigabytes of data anymore.
As for downloading and installation, the team in Melbourne have spent considerable time and effort into creating a brand new system to make it even faster than before. One example of improvements is the scanning of files. In the example given by Ben is that EGCB in FTX Central takes 4,080 milliseconds to scan, whereas now it only takes 24 milliseconds. This will yield significant improvements for products with many thousands of files. In addition, JPG to DDS conversions are now done whilst the product is downloading. The will bring overall installation times of up to 66% faster. Finally, downloads are done in multi-thread and you can now pause/resume downloads at any time.
With Orbx Central, you will be able to easily backup and restore your content really easily. No more having to download hundreds of files again and giving you the chance to fly even faster.
The final few improvements mentioned are now the fact you can manage your account from within the app itself, including password management, Fastlane status and also enabling Multi-Factor Authentication. Finally, from launch, Orbx Central will support multilingual UI. Initial languages will be English, German and French. More languages will be looked at in the future.