No Flashing iPhones!
Steve Jobs has said that he will not support Flash on the iPhone. This has left many users dismayed as they use the device to surf the Internet. Any video content requiring Flash cannot be viewed on iPhones. Quite frankly, most online videos are Flash videos. All attempts to make Flash work on the devices have been shot down by Apple. Finally, in an effort to rectify this problem without defying Jobs’ wishes, the Skyfire app has been submitted to the Apple App Store for approval.
How is Skyfire Different?
The Skyfire app is actually an Internet browser, similar to Safari. It does not enable Flash to work natively within the Apple platform. This is how they hope to work around Apple’s ban on Flash. Rather than actually using Flash to show the content on the iPhone, the app converts Flash videos to HTML 5, which is compliant with Apple standards.
Skyfire uses cloud-computing technology to convert Flash videos on the fly. By optimizing on the cloud, Skyfire plays within the rules set by Apple. The browser is said to be stable and actually enhances video compression for AT&T. This should decrease buffer time and maximize battery life while watching videos.
One great feature of Skyfire is that, if approved, it will be available for direct download from the iTunes Store. iPhone owners will not have to jailbreak devices to watch Flash videos online. Jailbreaking voids the warranty on Apple iPhones and can potentially “brick” the device, rendering it unusable. Until Skyfire, jailbreaking was the only way to install Flash software on an iPhone and many users were willing to take the risk.
The big question now is whether Apple will accept the Skyfire app into the App Store. If accepted, the mobile browser will work for both iPhone and iPod Touch devices. Skyfire seems confident that the app has been developed in strict adherence to Apple’s standards and should be accepted. No announcement has been made about whether the app will be free or available for a fee.