Flash on iOS devices has been a hotly debated topic ever since the iPhone was first introduced three years ago. Apple and Adobe have not been able to resolve their differences during this time and there seems to be no end in sight. There is hope, however, and it lies with a new WebKit app called Skyfire
. It’s not a perfect solution to flash on the iPhone, but it does give people access to a large number of Flash videos on the web. Unfortunately, Skyfire removed the app voluntarily soon after it was introduced.
The first five hours of Skyfire’s initial release went quite well. Enthusiasm for the app was so great that it overwhelmed their server’s capacity to deliver video at a reasonable rate. In just five hours, Skyfire became the top grossing app and the third highest paid app overall. This is quite an impressive feat, to say the least.
In the past, there have been many eagerly anticipated apps. When Skyfire launched with Apple’s blessing, there was no way for the company to know just how popular their app would become. “The user experience was performing well for the first few hours, but as the surge continued, the peak load on our servers and bandwidth caused the video experience to degrade,” said Robert on the Skyfire website.
I was fortunate enough to download Skyfire while it was still available and I can say that I was impressed with its ease of use and video quality. It was great being able to watch an episode of The Daily Show on my iPhone instead of having to go to my computer. Later in the day, I thought I’d watch something else on a different website, but was greeted with this message when I opened the app:
I have not been able to watch any Flash videos since this morning when I first bought the app. On the Skyfire website, the company says it is working to increase its capacity to meet demand. Hopefully they generated enough income to purchase a few more servers and will get them up and running quickly. With so many iOS users clamoring for more video content on their portable devices, I hope the company can resolve all of its technical issues and get the app back in the App Store quickly.
Skyfire was pulled not for violation of terms, but because it was just too popular. This is an unprecedented event in the history of the App Store. Flash may be on its way out, according to Apple, but if the success of this app is any indication, Flash will be with us a while longer. Now, if Hulu would just get on board and not lock everyone out of their site that uses an iPhone, I would be very happy indeed.