Flash content may not be officially supported on iOS devices, but that hasnít stopped some developers from creating apps that offer workarounds to this limitation. Skyfire may finally have some competition with iSwifter, a new free app for iPad that allows you to not only view Flash videos, but also plays Flash based games as well.
When you launch the app you're presented with a screen that lets you choose between browsing websites or playing Flash games. You are then presented with a list of websites or flash game sites that have been tested to work with iSwifter. Because iSwifter uses servers to translate Flash content into something an iOS device can display, battery life doesnít suffer the same way it would if Flash was installed natively on your device.
iSwifter is similar to Skyfire but differs from it in several ways. Where Skyfireís interface looks polished and offers a full-featured web browser, iSwifterís interface is less sophisticated. iSwifter does give you more access to sites with video, however. Hulu video plays quite well using iSwifter, whereas Skyfire is blocked from displaying their content. iSwifterís web browser and interface may not be as refined as Skyfireís, but when youíre watching Hulu on your iPad, itís easy to forget about any shortcomings this app may have. Itís probably just a matter of time until Hulu finds a way to block iSwifter as well, so enjoy it while you can.
I also spent some time playing a few flash games as well and although they worked pretty well, some games seemed a bit sluggish. That being said, I did get hooked playing a few games for quite a while though. Most flash games aren't optimized for a touch interface so some games will play better than others.
Even though iSwifter does have a version 1.0 feel to it, I have to admit that I was impressed with iSwifterís ability to display flash content on the iPad. This app may have one or two issues but itís easy to overlook them when youíre watching the latest episode of Fringe on your iPad. Hopefully, iSwifter will evolve and become a real challenger to Skyfireís dominance. After all, competition encourages innovation and thatís good for everyone.