The big news with Tumult's Hype's 2.5 update is that their layouts have become flexible, meaning they can now integrate with responsive designs and scale to suit different browser sizes and orientations. You can also now export animations as video files... or animated GIFs. Yup, you can now use Hype animations to troll email and message boards. French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, and Spanish and now all localized and supported. Hype Reflect 1.1, redesigned for iOS 7, has also been updated to let you preview all the new features on your iPhone.

I had a chance to ask Jonathan Deutsch, co-founder of Tumult, about the importance of bringing responsive design compatibility to Hype:

Responsive web design in one of the biggest trends in web development. Instead of making different sites for different devices, the goal is to produce one site that will look appropriate on everything from a 3.5" phone display to a 27" desktop browser window. It isn't just about scaling content as there's no percent scale that would show appropriate detail at all the different sizes - it is about a making design decisions for the different displays. Tumult Hype 2.5's Flexible Layout feature is built to give designers control over how elements are positioned and scaled when the document resizes. This will allow Hype animations to fit in well to responsive designs or look great as a standalone page.

And about why Hype 2.5 was internally referred to as a "love letter" to their customers:

Some releases we may focus on strategic direction or synthesize ideas based on a composite of feedback and users' workflows. This release was about directly implemented the top requested features. Number one was Flexible Layout, and number two was Video/Animated GIF Export. I personally never expected so many requests for Video Export, so we said "there's got to be something behind this." Hype's focus is clearly on HTML5, but this practically turns it into a general purpose motion compositing app. I'm looking forward to seeing all the new places it goes -- one beta user has already made dozens of animated GIFs that are absolutely mesmerizing*. We also wanted non-English speakers to feel at home, so we localized into 6 different languages. There's lots of other features and polish that rounds it all out; users would have a hard time going back to previous versions after using 2.5.

Whether you're a web designer or animator who wants a great Mac experience, or someone who just wants to have heaps of fun on the web, Hype 2.5 is not only the best way I've found to do both, it's absolutely the most delightful. (If you're neither, just go find your favorite restaurant still stuck in Flash-only hell and drop them the link to Hype — the web will thank you!)

Check it out and let me know what you think, and for more on Hype, check out our series of interviews on Debug