Skyfire App For iPhone: Flash is losing relevance

By Gary Johnson - Nov 5, 2010

Since Apple have approved the Skyfire web browser which plays Flash videos for the iPhone, was this done to prove that Flash has lost relevance?

Brian X. Chen of Wired has spent some time with the app since it came out on Wednesday. He first had to find a website with loaded Flash video, and found the search difficult. Many websites which feature a lot of video including the likes of YouTube and DailyMotion have already moved to HTML5.

It was also found that 54% of web video is now HTML5 compatible. He was eventually pointed to a website called CWTV. As soon as Skyfire knew he was trying to play a Flash video, a play button became available at the bottom of the browser. In less than five seconds an episode of ‘Smallville’ was being streamed.

Some problems were discovered when the TED Talks website was loaded. The site is a gallery of Flash videos and the browser wouldn’t transcode them. The author had a tough time finding reasons to use Skyfire, but concluded that the main reason for it is that many porn sites still rely on Flash. This could be for a limited time because his ‘research’ says that most porn sites will be changing to HTML5 soon.

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  • No one

    Flash is also great for cross browser compatibility. Until Apple had a hussy fit. You could package say your navigation in one swf and know that would look exactly the same in each browser. With HTML5 and JavaScript you have to test and debug like crazy even if you use libraries like jQuery. Flash needs improvement but it has definite benefits.

  • failsh

    Flash is dying.

    So is Skyfire. They are too incompetent to even keep their own servers running!

  • tch6

    Wait a minute pal. You are talking about the English-speaking world only.

    Flash-embedded video is still the dominant format in our world:

    I know there are other worlds that still rely heavily on Adobe's Flash. And BTW, our world has the fastest growth rate right now, skyfire and the like have a chunk in the lion's share.

    Of course, I would like to have more sites in our World to be HTML5 ready.

  • Guest

    The author of this article clearly doesn't understand what else Flash is capable of – perhaps it loses relevance as a video player, but Flash is a full authoring suite for programmers to make the web more interactive at smaller file sizes, re-using artwork, adding 3D interactivity, etc.

  • Joshua

    That review came off a little “on apple’s dick”-ish. I agree on a lot of the points but having flash 10.1 on my Droid has saved me from tons of little blue ? boxes that weren’t on porn sites. But yeah, skyfire sucks.