In a surprising move that brings us two different Flash-enabled browsers in the span of less than a week, iSwifter has launched their browser on the iPad. While at first glimpse it may seem that Apple has relented on its insistence that Flash not appear on iOS devices, the truth is a bit more complicated than all that.

First off, while iSwifter supports Flash, it doesn’t support all Flash content found on the web. Rather, only portals such as Ted Talks, Muzu.TV, Jambo Media, Green TV, All Things Science, Yahoo Blogs, WatchDoIt and Ignite Show. SkyFire, on the other hand, will convert any Flash video to HTML5 so that it can be displayed on an iOS device. Thus, while iSwifter will save you possible bugs and glitches from format conversion, it’s still not a magic bullet to get access to all the Flash content floating around out there.

In addition iSwifter also allows access to thousands of Flash-based games which otherwise might be walled-off from consumers. The ability to play Flash games on an iOS device is hidden via smoke and mirrors, where the game is actually hosted on iSwifter’s servers and players are merely streaming it from that point. It’s a similar setup to the OnLive cloud-based gaming service, just on a smaller scale.

It’s also important to note that the app is currently only available for iPad. While the company plans to launch an iPhone/iPod version soon, they aren’t yet ready to announce a release date.

While apps like iSwifter and Skyfire are helping folks slowly work around the iOS prohibition on Flash we won’t be able to truly put this issue to bed until Apple and Adobe kiss and make up. Perhaps someday users won’t have to utilize a workaround just to get access to otherwise freely available content, but until that day we continue to engineer solutions to problems that probably shouldn’t exist in the first place.

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iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-09-09 :: Category: Utilities

[via Venture Beat]

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