This development comes on the heels of the Skyfire application release for Android phones. As Apple prohibits Flash-based applications and applets on the iPhone, Skyfire has developed a browser that circumvents this problem by translating Flash into HTML5 on the fly (in the cloud) and then passing it back to the in-phone browser.
Apple Insider brings us the scoop on Apple’s App Store approval of the Skyfire browser,
“Like the Android version, Skyfire for iOS isn’t a standalone application, but rather a tool that works on top of Apple’s Safari Web browser,” the report said. “As a result, the company said the app was given a rather rigorous review from Apple, but it was approved in less than two months. Apple did not return a request for comment on why it approved Skyfire for its App Store.”
The application gets around Apple’s ban of Adobe Flash by having Skyfire’s servers download Flash video and convert it to HTML5. When a user visits a page with Flash, they see a selectable thumbnail which then allows the content to be streamed directly to the iOS device, negating the need for Flash.
The app costs $2.99 and is available in the App Store. With some caveats, however, as it doesn’t work with most Flash-based games and the popular web-TV streaming service, Hulu, actively blocks it—so don’t expect to watch Grey’s Anatomy on your iPhone with this product anytime soon. As it looks like Hulu is holding out for their own App that will work with paid-service Hulu Plus, it looks like they want to lock down iPhones only for paying customers.
Previous coverage of Skyfire by SiliconANGLE has been about how they’d started hiring people from across the Flash divide and it looks like their strategy is paying off. The latest statistics have shown that HTML5 adoption is hovering around 50% of the net, but with iPhone only allowing HTML5 a converter will have some extreme demand. Although, they’ll probably do better if they can fix the Flash-based games issue.