Monday, April 25, 2011

Playing Flash on iPad - New Solutions Based on Transcoding

There's a lot of Flash content out there, and iPad users are yearning to use it - but unfortunately, Apple won't support Flash on iPad. Is there a way out?

Consider iSWiFTER, a solution that has been around for over six months now. According to their own description, iSWiFTER is the industry's first cloud-based Flash streaming service specifically built for mobile devices including smart phones and tablets, spanning mobile platforms such as Apple's iOS and Android.

How does iSWiFTER play Flash on iPad? It seems their servers in the cloud run abstraction software that converts browser-based Flash content to a form that is optimized for individual mobile devices, complete with multi-touch gesture support for interaction, and accommodating different screen sizes.

ISWiFTER's free client app connects to their  servers in the cloud to download streaming content live to the mobile device.

When I tried it, it worked pretty well for some of the SiteJazzer, YawnBuster and Raptivity interactions that are Flash-based. Of course, the HTML versions run smoother on iPad. Little wonder, since the differences in user interactions with laptops vs tablets (think mouse drag-drop and multi-touch, for instance) make it nearly impossible to replicate the flash experience on iPad without rewriting code at some level.

So, HTML5 is here to stay if you want to replicate the interactive experiences. Other than that, ISWiFTER's Flash video transcoding is the closest thing to having real Flash software on your device.

I was also wondering if Apple would have had some issues with approving the app - it does not drain the battery for sure, but the loading time can compromise user experience, something Apple is fanatic about.

Anybody tried Skyfire?


  1. Not checked Skyfire but the website shows social apps such as FB, Twitter videos for iPad, iPhone and Android.
    I came across Wallaby by Adobe Wallaby is an experimental technology by Adobe that converts .fla files to HTML5. Sounds very easy but comes with some limitations. Flash enthused developers can check out Wallaby that’s available for trial.

  2. HTML/JQuery works quite well.

  3. I have Skyfire on my phone and it does the trick on many websites, but not all. Slow sometimes, too.