11/8/2010

Skyfire Brings Flash Encoded Videos to iOS

While many other mobile device manufacturers sing and shout about the inclusion of Adobe Flash support on their devices, Apple just won’t seem to provide what many people want. Steve Jobs maybe taking the right stance in some respects, Flash does have its fair share of crashes, it increases battery usage on mobile devices and there’s little doubt it requires more processing power to play videos smoothly than HTML5.

Whether you love or hate Flash though it’s quite unavoidable. A huge percentage of video on the web is still encoded in Adobe Flash and by refusing to support it Apple are denying their users access to much of the video available on the web. The feud has now reached the point where Apple are shipping their new Macbook Air without Flash installed. Jobs may claim it is to make sure the user installs the latest, more secure version, but it’s quite clear that he’d rather Flash didn’t touch his machines at all.

Thankfully for iOS users Apple have now approved the Skyfire app, which allows you to view Flash video on your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Skyfire has been available on Android for a while and although Android 2.2 now supports native Flash video Skyfire still offers better performance and reduced bandwidth usage.

Skyfire steps around the lack of Flash support on iOS devices by converting the video to HTML5 format in the background. It does the job pretty well and it’s definitely a decent solution to the Flash problem. While Skyfire allows you to watch Flash video content it won’t help when it comes to other Flash used on web pages. So if you wanted to see any other Flash embedded on a site you’ll need to recycle your iPhone for cash and get a Flash compatible device.

While you can download the Skyfire beta for free on Android, the iOS version is a paid app. Whether or not it’s worth the cash depends on how desperate you are to watch Flash video on your mobile.

Lee

Lee

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