Skyfire browser will run Flash videos on the iPhone and iPad

Something unbelievable has happened. A mobile browser running Flash videos has been allowed into the App Store, via a little bit of cloud trickery.

A new browser allowing you to watch Flash videos on your iPhone or iPad is coming to the App Store tomorrow, in spite of Steve Jobs' vigorous denunciations of the software.

The Skyfire 2.0 Mobile Browser has received Apple approval, according to CNNMoney. But Steve Jobs has already said he won't allow Flash near his hallowed devices... could it be? Have Apple and Adobe suddenly become the best of chums?

Of course not. What the third-party browser cleverly does is convert the Flash videos into HTML5 on SkyFire's servers. After a short delay, it'll run on the iPhone. Unfortunately you can't have it all, as the browser won't run Flash-based games and other non-video Flash content.

Below is a YouTube video of the browser in action. It appears you can watch the videos either in a thumbnail or full-screen.

The app is a full-fledged Web browser, with an address bar, Google search box, popular trending terms and featured sites. It embeds the Safari browser, which means the Skyfire features have been built on top of the iPhone's native browser.

"What this means is instead of getting a few thousand videos specially formatted for the iPhone, you now have access to the millions of the Flash videos available on the Internet," the developer said.

"We also provide adaptive streaming, so when you're in challenging network conditions, one or two bars, you still get great video performance."

Skyfire has been around for a number of years, releasing a browser on Android last year that could run Flash before version 2.2 came in. Our sister site CNET.com previewed the iPhone version last month , finding that although it worked like it did on Android, not all Flash videos would play.

Apple has eased restrictions in the App Store on Flash-derived apps , but still doesn't let iOS run Flash natively. This app could be extremely useful for watching videos on the BBC, for example. Try it tomorrow and let us know what you think.

 

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