Apple has just approved an HTML 5 and Flash friendly mobile browser for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. A story and a very attractive browser that we have been monitoring since September is called Skyfire Browser. What makes Skyfire a very attractive solution for your iOS device is that the company believes that mobile browsers should behave just like your normal computer browsers. In other words, Skyfire believes all mobile browsers should not only support HTML5, but also any kind of Flash-based content.
This browser is the first Flash app to be allowed into Apple’s app store. Instead of displaying Flash videos on iOS devices, Skyfire intercepts and converts them to HTML5. Skyfire will be available for download at 9 a.m. ET on Thursday for $ 2,99.
Despite Jobs comments and Apple’s insistence that it will not support Flash-based content for IOS, in September the company relaxed its app store restrictions a tiny bit to allow apps compatible with Flash. Skyfire Browser will convert video from Adobe Flash to HTML5. The upcoming application leverages Skyfire’s servers to download Flash video and convert it (on-the-fly) to HTML5. When you download Skyfire, you will see selectable thumbnails that allow you to stream content directly to your iOS device. The Apple approval process took a bit longer than usual considering that Skyfire Browser is a tool that runs on top of Apple’s Safari Web browser. Of course, Apple wanted to make sure the new tool will follow Apple’s strict guidelines.
“We will attack those pesky blue Flash error messages,” Skyfire CEO Jeffrey Glueck told CNN this week. Flash is currently available on a range of mobile operating systems, including Android and Symbian. And in recent months, Apple has begun to ease restrictions on Flash content. But the Skyfire app, which is developed by the Mountain View, Calif.-company Skyfire Labs, is being heralded by many analysts as the first real step in breaking the Flash ban.
The browser also has a few other features which set it apart from mobile Safari, including the option to change your user agent in order to view pages in desktop or mobile mode, a private browsing option, a media bar for finding related media, and integration with Facebook and Twitter for sharing web pages with your contacts.
To download Skyfire’s Flash workaround, search for Skyfire in the Apple iTunes store or navigate over to the Skyfire Web site.