Mobile

Mobile browser SkyFire 2.0 brings Flash video playback to the iPhone

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If mobile browser developer SkyFire has its way, its new SkyFire 2.0 browser will finally give iPhone users access to the wealth of Flash video on the web.

The company has submitted its new browser to the App Store, and it seems confidant that Apple will approve it. SkyFire’s cloud-computing technology allows the browser to translate Flash videos in real-time to Apple-approved HTML5 standards. The company says it adheres to all of Apple’s video and browser guidelines — including the use of a WebKit browser core and H.264 adaptive video streaming.

The new iPhone browser is a follow-up to the Android version of SkyFire 2.0, which also brought Flash support to that platform before it was officially supported.

SkyFire 2.0 also makes its Flash video streaming very efficient. The browser compresses video data by about 75 percent on average — making it easier to stream videos without buffering, and saving precious battery life in the process. SkyFire says the increased efficiency addresses concerns Apple CEO Steve Jobs raised in his open letter about Flash on mobile devices — particularly, his worry about its impact on battery life.

There’s always the chance that Apple would reject the browser, but clearly SkyFire went to great pains to follow its rigid guidelines. And since Apple already approved the Opera Mini 5 web browser — which doesn’t follow all the company’s rules, since it’s not using the WebKit browser framework — there would be little reason for rejecting SkyFire 2.0.