Home Skyfire Submits Flash Video Enabled Browser to App Store

Skyfire Submits Flash Video Enabled Browser to App Store

Steve Jobs doesn’t like Flash. He says it has poor security, kills your battery and performs poorly on mobile devices. For those reasons and more, Apple doesn’t allow Flash applications or video to run on the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Today, Skyfire will try to break through Apple’s Flash blockade with the submission of its mobile browser, which transcodes Flash into HTML5 in real time, to the App Store. And according to its creators, Apple is going to accept it.

According to an email from the company, “this submission is the tech industry’s first test of whether Jobs’ ‘thoughts on Flash’ ban is actually political rather than technical” and it will be approved for several reasons. The company maintains that the app has been developed with “significant oversight and feedback from Apple” and that “it adheres to every guideline put forth by Apple regarding HTML5 video playback for iOS”. The process of transcoding Flash to HTML5, the company contends, will allow Apple users to “play millions of Flash videos on Apple devices without the technical problems for which Jobs banned flash.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve expected to see Flash on the iPhone, but aside from a hack for jailbroken phones and a program that uses your home computer as a proxy server, Flash has remained off-limits for Apple’s mobile users.

Skyfire operates similarly to Opera Mini for the iPhone, basing its Web-browsing capabilities off of a Webkit browser core shared with Safari and using cloud-computing to transcode Flash into HTML5 in real time. Flash video is translated every three seconds, with video data being compressed by up to 75%.

Skyfire also avoids the concerns raised in Steve Jobs’ recent essay regarding Flash on mobile devices. By optimizing Flash for iPhones and network conditions in the Cloud, Skyfire improves performance and maximizes battery life while playing video. The browser also avoids alternate runtime environments and other security vulnerabilities.

Opera may have already broken the non-native browser barrier, but we’ll have to wait and see if Skyfire can use this sort of end-around to bring Flash video to Apple’s mobile devices while thumbing their nose at Jobs all the while.

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