Skyfire browser for iPhone converts Flash to HTML5

By on November 3, 2010, 4:05 PM
Apple has allowed an iOS browser named Skyfire, which transcodes Flash videos into iPhone-friendly HTML5 on the fly, into the App Store. The app was approved by Cupertino yesterday and appeared on the store today. You can grab it from iTunes now after shelling out $3. Interestingly, attempting to download the app will give you a warning about adult content, meaning that Apple figures you'll be using the browser to watch porn (since there can't possibly be any other Flash videos out there worth watching).

Previous iterations of Skyfire weren't very good, but this one sends all Flash video elements it encounters to its servers, transcodes them into HTML5, and sends it back for viewing on your iPhone. It takes 10 seconds or so to get going but it requires nothing from the user and does all the hard work so you don't have to. Unfortunately, Skyfire can't do the same for Flash games or Flash apps: this is only for Flash video. Furthermore, Hulu won't work because of the way the site is designed.

Apple made a point to all but kill Flash on all of its devices, but it still decided to let this app into its App Store. If you really want the app, make sure to download it now in case the company changes its mind and pulls it.

Update: The app reached such high demand that the company had to pull it. "The user experience was performing well for the first few hours, but as the surge continued, the peak load on our servers and bandwidth caused the video experience to degrade," Skyfire said in a statement. "Thus we are effectively 's'old out' and will temporarily not accept new purchases from the App Store. We are working really hard to increase capacity and will be accepting new purchases from the App Store as soon as we can support it. Within 5 hours, Skyfire for iPhone became the top grossing app, the third highest paid app overall and the top application in the Utilities category."

User Comments: 27

Got something to say? Post a comment
vangrat said:

What this post did not tell you is Skyfire is only available in the United States. You can download and install it to your device outside of the US, but if your IP registers as being foreign, the program throws an error and closes.

Way to go, a$$4013!

vangrat said:

That last statement was targeted at Skyfire, not Techspot.


hassaan said:

That's what I was saying as well, I can probably only find 1 application of flash useful to me that I can't already get on iOS, how many can you think of? Hulu netflix and south park studios are already possible, facebook, YouTube and many games all over the Internet are already possible, what do you use regularly that you can't do?

KG363 KG363 said:

That's pretty awesome

topcoach said:

Most of the reviews on iTunes say either Skyfire doesn't work or it's slow. I think I will skip this one.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This will help with everyone who complains about no flash support but like hassaan said what can u not do already that u need flash for?

AnonymousSurfer AnonymousSurfer said:

Nice! I'm gonna have to download this one!

ColdFusion1990 ColdFusion1990 said:

Just downloaded it and It works well enough, but I wouldn't use the browser over Safari unless I really wanted to have Flash

Razerblade said:

I have used skyfire in the past. It is OK but there are much better browsers out there. Flash isn't everything and you can get round it most of the time. I wonder what adobe will say about this with all of theirs and Apples problems!

Guest said:

It looks like they've already pulled it. I can search for but it says "your request cannot be completed." when i try to select it. Funny, I wonder if people will get there money back.

aj_the_kidd said:

If the android Skyfire is any indication, the iOS should be pretty good, it is a bit slow at times to load and most times you cant actually skip to a certain section you have to watch the whole clip in its entirety. I only ever use it to watch clips and thats it.

bakape said:

Interestingly, attempting to download the app will give you a warning about adult content, meaning that Apple figures you'll be using the browser to watch porn (since there can't possibly be any other Flash videos out there worth watching).

Apple is showing signs of intelligence

posermobile89 said:

this is quite surprising they let this into the app store. I have to say, I'm a fan of it, but it would be so much easier just to have the flash plugin

Guest said:

If Apple can partner with an flash company , i think the apple world will be better and better . do you think so ??? haha....

but i am sure that the flash must affect the speed of the system , which may be a unlucky thing for phone user . i normally use a Aneesoft video coverter converter to convert any video. .

bugejakurt said:

That's just AWSOMN. With this app Apple's Safari has become a full fledge browser.

sMILEY4ever said:

I would've asked for more than 3$ because they need some real servers to sustain what they're doing.

aalsheh said:

wow, thx for the heads up... I guess with the big sales this got we are bound to see other apps very soon

BabyFaceLee BabyFaceLee said:

Pulled from iTunes after just 5 hours as the Skyfire servers weren't up to the demand....hey ho.

Cryptopsy said:

FInally a portable porn device... rofl, just like if there was only porn flash videos. Ya for sure! Anyway, that's still a good news but why doesn't Apple allow and/or update the iPhone to support flash directly into safari...

BabyFaceLee BabyFaceLee said:

cryptopsy said:

...but why doesn't Apple allow and/or update the iPhone to support flash directly into safari...

Flash is a pet hate of Steve Jobs and his merry men as they regard it as 'dodgy'. They wont touch it with a barge pole.

Uvindu said:

This is a good move by apple because they don't support Adobe Flash and have even told us that they will try to get rid of it as much as possible. Now they have given their customers a way to convert that flash video into HTML5, so they haven't lost all the capability. Thumbs up for SkyFire.

Chazz said:

"Flash is dead...Flash isn't needed for anything" ..."hey guys I built a browser that converts flash into HTML" *said program sells out*

Anyone else see a problem with that? If it's so overrated then why did that browser even get a single user?

klpowell said:

I don't see much point in using this if it doesn't work with Hulu, Youtube has native support, and so on. There is very little video that I would want to watch that is not from these sites, and definitely not any that I can't just wait to see on my PC. If they have Hulu support I may consider paying for this app, but until then I think I'll pass.

fluxcapacitor said:

This app sounds kinda dumb. Not as dumb as Apple not allowing full access to all websites but rather half assed. But you can't knock the publishers for that. For all his ingenuity Steve Jobs is rather close minded. But, I'm not not the one running his business either.

xcelofjkl said:

I despise safari. I hate it and loathe it. It's such a bad browser. I've been looking for other browser apps out there but alas. Hopefully this will allow me to throw safari into the Recycle Bin.

hitech0101 said:

Only good for those people still watching flash.

bam13 said:

I hope this will be working in EU too, IĀ'd really like to download this app into my iPhone

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.