Back in May of this year, in the midst of the Apple-Flash hellfire, Android threw us Skyfire 2.0, a mobile browser capable of playing flash video. Today, Flash remains to be a win for Android users. Regardless of whether you’re a flash supporter or not, it’s hard to make a case for a device being limited — iDevice users have no choice.
As of this Thursday the Skyfire browser will hit the iOS app store and will reportedly bring many users what they’ve been asking for — Flash video. According to Skyfire, Skyfire 2.0 is an add-on for the mobile Safari browser and is limited to video, it’s not intended to support interactive Flash animations or games.
When using Skyfire on the Android, if you had found a Flash video that was previously blocked, Skyfire transcoded the video displaying a pop-up video icon in the apps dock, named the SkyBar. From the SkyBar users are able to view the video, explore and share via email, SMS and popular social networks. I found the UI to be slick, bright and speedy, but the last time I tried it, it was a bit glitchy and failed to play a few large files.
Keeping in mind the fact that Adobe has now created an HTML5 video player and tools to convert Flash to HTML 5, I’m not sure how necessary apps such as this will be in the upcoming years but it may be useful in the interim. And, since we haven’t tried it yet it remains to be seen whether it will be worth the $2.99 but we’ll be sure to let you know on Thursday.
On a side note, content providers like Hulu have already put the kibosh on access through Skyfire, a service Hulu already charges $10 for in order to access from a mobile device –hopefully this will not become a trend.
Skyfire in action
Converting FLA files to HTML