- Category: Technology
- Published on Thursday, 23 December 2010 00:00
- Written by Skyfire's browser for the iPad went live on Thursday
Almost 2 months after Skyfire’s iPhone version sold out on Apple's App Store, New Skyfire's browser for the iPad went live on Thursday. The price of this version is $4.99, compared to $2.99 for the iPhone version.
The browser's claim that it enables users of Apple's iOS devices to view Adobe Flash-based content.
Flash Converted To HTML5
Skyfire does an end run around the ban by uploading Flash graphics that would otherwise be blocked with an error message to the company's cloud sever and streaming them back to the device in HTML5.
But Mountain View, Calif.-based Skyfire Labs wants it known that enabling Flash isn't the app's only asset. In a promotional video, product manager Robert Oberhofer showed off some of the latest features that enable quick social networking and easy web browsing on the iPad's 9.7-inch display.
"We asked ourselves what can Skyfire bring to the table beyond enabling Flash, and it was clear to us that [we should] try to make the browsing experience on the iPad more fun, more connected, and most of all, more effective," he said.
Skyfire's Fireplace, working with Facebook, shares recent links posted by the user's friends, bit not other posts. "It's a great starting-off place for exploring the Internet," said Oberhofer.
When visiting a particular site, a Popular Content feature displays "what is hot right now," Oberhofer said -- all the links from that site that have been posted by friends. There is also a universal Like button integrated into the browser.
Skyfire is also available on the Android Market, Microsoft's Windows Marketplace, and Nokia's Ovi Store, but the iPad app represents its first foray into tablet-size performance.
More Capacity This Time
Demand for the iPhone version proved too much for the company's servers following its debut on Nov. 3, so when the video quality started to degrade, Skyfire pulled it from the App Store. It later sold it in limited batches until Nov. 15, when it was returned to broad availability.
That won't happen again, said Skyfire spokesperson Kevin Jordan.
"Skyfire not only doubled their entire server capacity within 48 hours of the iPhone launch, they have also added even more server capacity for this launch," Jordan told us via e-mail.
"The servers are looking very strong and scalability will not be an issue. They're expecting uninterrupted availability in the U.S. on iPad and will continue to roll out new countries shortly," he added.
Jordan said the extra two bucks for the iPad version is justified because "most iPad apps get marked HD with no new features but an increase in price. Skyfire's got a LOT of new features in comparison to the iPhone version but just a $2 increase, so not too bad overall."
Analyst Charles King of Pund-IT said Apple's acceptance of Skyfire to the App Store "demonstrates Apple's recognition of the importance of accommodating customers' desires. At the end of the day, customers value the ability to visit the sites and consume the content they want more than the peculiar opinions of Apple executives."