We knew this day was coming but the Skyfire browser is now available for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. That means you’ll be able to get Flash content on your iOS device.
If you don’t know, Skyfire is a mobile browser which aims to deliver content to the handset with minimal bandwidth. Like Opera, it uses proxy servers to deliver web content to the phone – that’s all back end stuff though, as it looks just like a standard browser to the user.
The beauty of Skyfire on Android is that it is an elegant way to sidestep the Apple war against Flash because you can use it to access this content on the go. When you browse to a site with Flash content, you’ll get a pop-up option to view the video.
We’ve used the Skyfire iPhone app and it works pretty darn well for most content. There are still some issues with video optimization (mostly on the publisher’s side) but the company’s special sauce helps with a lot of that. Sadly, Hulu is still blocked from this browser because the company wants you to use the Hulu Plus app.
It’s not just Flash videos though, as Skyfire also includes a bunch of social-networking integration. There’s quick access to share videos and websites via Facebook and Twitter.
On the downside, you won’t be able to play Flash games with this, as it’s not the full version of Flash that can be found on Android. Additionally, the company says that videos may take 15-25 seconds to load because “preparing goodness takes time.”
We’re not too excited that the app costs $2.99, as it’s free on other platform but we guess you have to make money somehow. Apple also seems to think this will be used mostly for porn because you have to by at least 17 years old to download it due to “Frequen/Intense sexual content or nudity.”
[Update] It looks like Skyfire pulled the app due to technical difficulties, as it was having problems with the demand and didn’t want new iOS users to get a bad first impression. We’ll let you know when we get more.
Skyfire says the app is “sold out” and that it is working on increasing capacity for more users. It will let us know when this is available. There’s no word on how many copies it sold but it says its the top-grossing iPhone app in the App Store right now.
“Skyfire has historically generated high demand for its browser products but nothing like this,” states Skyfire CEO Jeffrey Glueck. “It was hard to predict consumer demand since this was our first paid app, but we were blown away by the demand and sales.”
Skyfire’s spokesperson had this to say:
“The app is actually SOLD OUT while Skyfire increases server capacity. They’ll open up a new batch for download very soon. Skyfire is working to increase server capacity as we speak and in the end, this will result in the best possible user experience once they hit the store again.
The pulling didn’t have to do with Apple.”
– Download Skyfire for the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch [iTunes Link]