According to the folks over at CNN Money, Apple has finally approved the Skyfire browser for iOS. It uses remote servers to re-encode Flash videos into HTML5, which is viewable on Mobile Safari. This method obviously won’t work for games or anything that requires user interaction, but it’s definitely a winner for the millions of Flash-only videos on the web. Check out a demo of it in action on YouTube.
To get around Apple’s restriction, Skyfire came up with an innovative solution: When users click on a page that contains Flash video, Skyfire’s servers download, render and translate the video into HTML5, which is a Web standard that iOS devices support. Skyfire then displays a thumbnail that users can click on to stream the video from its servers.
The interface looks pretty slick, and the bottom toolbar has a nice “explore” feature which allows you to view information related to the page, as well as a “share” option to send links to social media sites. There is also a very nifty Facebook “Quickview” button which shows your News Feed to check up on your friends’ current activities without interrupting your browsing. The video rendering itself didn’t seem to take terribly long, so it should be a viable solution for the occasional Flash video.
The browser should be available on the App Store at 9am ET on Thursday for $2.99.