Apple opens gates for Adobe Flash on iPad; approves SkyFire app

  @ibtimes on December 23 2010 10:42 AM

SkyFire is here to set iPad on fire as it is due to launch its app that translates Flash code into HTML5 to run Flash videos.

TechCrunch reported that SkyFire will be announcing the launch as they have got approval from Apple App Store in a matter of just 7 days since being on the approval list. However, the pricing of the app has still not been revealed, though the same app for iPhone cost $2.99.

SkyFire had first released the app for iPhone in November. Basically when a user clicks on a Flash video the Skyfire app downloads the Flash video on Skyfire's server where the video is decoded and then encoded in HTML5. It is later delivered to an iOS device. The app is embedded in the Safari browser.

The coming of Flash on iPad courtesy SkyFire will be a big boost for iPad users as Flash videos running on 9.7-inch screen compared to an iPhone is a big draw.

SkyFire offered a sneak-peek into the app designed for iPad last week. The app has added features like Fire Place Feed Reader that provides a selected list media content posted by Facebook friends. It embeds social media links on the browser which includes Facebook, Twitter and Google Reader allowing users to interact with friends without leaving the app.

The fast approval of the app that is within a week is pretty fast by Apple's app approval standards. Also the approval speaks of Apple's relaxed approach to Adobe's Flash. Apple had derided Adobe's Flash in April. Apple had stated that Flash has not performed well on mobile devices. One of the reasons cited by Apple was that running Flash videos drains a mobile's battery as it still decodes video in software rather than hardware.

However, in September Apple changed its App Store Review guidelines, primarily relaxing restrictions on tools used to create iOS apps as long as apps do not download any code. This allows developers to create a program in Adobe and then translate it into a format supported by Apple, thus enabling them to create apps for both iOS and Android platforms. But with SkyFire app now app developers who had created apps written in Flash will not have to recreate it in HTML 5.

With heavyweights like Apple and Microsoft coming alongside HTML 5 as a preferred platform for creating web-apps, Flash seems to be on the losing front of the standards war.

This week Apple released an application for Macs under the moniker iAd Producer that enables users to create multimedia rich iAds for iOS devices. The iAd Producer provides developers tools to create iAds while supporting HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript in the background. Thus while Apple continues to support HTML5, the allowance given to Adobe Flash via SkyFire app reveals that ultimately Apple will also bow to market dynamics and will not be able to bar successful apps, especially when other platforms like Android are competing for the smartphone and tablet space.

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