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PlayOn skips App Store, uses Safari for streaming

Streaming service PlayOn has come up with a good way to get around its iPhone app remaining in Apple's review process. It's come up with a Web app that does the same thing, but that runs right in Safari.

PlayOn logo

What do you do when your Hulu and Netflix streaming iPhone app remains in Apple's App Store purgatory a little too long? You do just what Steve Jobs encouraged developers to do before there was even an App Store--you make your app in Safari instead.

That's just what PlayOn has done. As per a report in VentureBeat, PlayOn had a plan B for getting its video-streaming service into the hands of iPhone and iPod Touch owners, and has created an HTML5-powered Web app that can stream that content from a connected computer running the PlayOn software client.

PlayOn on an iPhone
PlayOn's instructions for setting up its streaming service on an iPhone or iPod Touch. Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

The Web app works with both Hulu and Netflix, the latter of which will become less important when Netflix releases an iPhone version of its popular iPad app, which was promised as coming "this summer." On the Hulu side, however, is where things get interesting. Hulu has a universal app that runs on the iPhone and iPad, but viewing anything outside of some preview content requires an active subscription to the currently private beta Hulu Plus service. Using PlayOn, users can watch every piece of content they'd be able to get for free from a Hulu-approved desktop browser.

Like we mentioned when we got a first look at PlayOn's still unreleased iPhone app last month, the company's service is not free. Users can nab a 15-day free trial, followed either by a year for $39.99 and $19.99 for every year after, or a one-time payment of $79.99. It also requires that users have an Internet-connected computer handy for actually accessing the content.