Skyfire Brings Flash Video to iPhone

| News

Skyfire, which is already available for Android OS smartphones, is coming to the iPhone on Thursday and bringing with it the ability to play Flash video content. Apple doesn’t support Flash content on its iOS devices, which will make Skyfire a welcome addition for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users that need to play Flash-based video on their handheld devices.

Skyfire for the iPhone

Instead of displaying Flash videos on iOS devices, Skyfre intercepts and converts them to HTML 5, then streams them to back out to users. The process works around the inability to play Flash content natively on iOS devices, and it took about two months of work with Apple to get Skyfire approved for distribution through the App Store, according to CNN.

Skyfire users hoping to work around Hulu’s paid-only model for viewing shows on mobile devices, however, are in for a disappointment. Hulu is actively blocking Skyfire from downloading and converting shows, which means users will still have to pay a monthly subscription fee to watch content on the go.

Skyfire will be available on Thursday, November 5, for US$2.99 and is available at Apple’s iTunes-based App Store.


Lee Dronick

If this thing sells well then it is an indication that iPhone users want Flash, providing they know about the app. If not then…


If it’s cheap enough, perhaps not.  I may download it for the 1 in a 1000 times where I need it.  For the most part, there have been only a handful of times where I missed Flash going back to the original iPhone.


Looks like Hulu is being a jerk.


If Skyfire sells well, it may well indicate that many users want to view content that is still encoded in Flash, but what they will get is HTML5, because Skyfire transcodes Flash into HTML5, which won’t make Adobe very happy.

Lee Dronick

Skyfire transcodes Flash into HTML5, which won?t make Adobe very happy.

Good point! Is that legal? Maybe not so much Adobe having issues as the copyright holder of the video


This is not about making Adobe happy, it’s about making the consumer happy. The existence of an app such as this is proof enough that people want Flash, but since the two parties (Adobe and Apple) are unwilling to work together then a workaround was inevitable. Also the video may be converted to a different medium but so long as you cannot save it or reuse it for your own purpose then it is the same as watching it from the original site in Flash through a Windows or Apple Computer.

Lee Dronick

This is not about making Adobe happy, it?s about making the consumer happy.

Just because it makes the consumer happy doesn’t mean that it is legal which this may or may not be.


Theres no question that people want Flash on their phones. And Apple doesn’t give a crap about making customers or Adobe happy, because we paid for the phone already, and #$&@ stupid customers anyway.

HOWEVER, maybe it’s be legal if…

Single stream every time, i.e., no multicasting for several concurrent users.  (tantamount to rebroadcast). 

No caching content for later reuse in subsequent requests for same content (tantamount to unlicensed copying).

No fee per stream session (meaning you pay for the translation service, not for access to any specific publisher’s content, tantamount to unlicensed resale).


And Apple doesn?t give a crap about making customers or Adobe happy

Really, I think Apple cares a great deal about making customers happy. Adobe? Not so much.

but since the two parties (Adobe and Apple) are unwilling to work together

Well, for more than two years, Adobe wasn’t able to deliver a version of Flash that ran well enough on a mobile platform to address Apple’s concerns about battery life and crashes. They’ve been able after the better part of a decade to deliver Flash on the desktop that addresses Apple’s concerns about battery life and crashes. Apple had some expectations set from those two experiences and decided there was a way that was better for consumers, even if the tradeoff was that they couldn’t watch every piece of web video.

There probably will be some legal wrangling over this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the DVR decisions we’ve already seen come into play, specifically the ones involving cable companies that cache programming centrally for rebroadcast (in effect one massive DVR that streams what it’s recorded back to your set-top box or cable card).

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