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Skyfire for iPhone returning to App Store on limited basis. First come, first serve.

Skyfire, the Flash-transcoding browser for iPhone, will slowly, carefully be returning to the App Store today in small amounts and for limited times.:

We are going to open batches of downloads for new users over the coming days. The first batch will be in a few minutes on the Apple App Store. It will be first come, first serve.

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Flash-playing Skyfire browser coming to iPhone this Thursday

After 2 months of waiting in review with Apple, the new Skyfire mobile browser will be approved and available in the App Store for iPhone and iPad at 9 a.m. ET on Thursday for just $2.99. From CNN Money:

To get around Apple's restriction, Skyfire came up with an innovative solution: When users click on a page that contains Flash video, Skyfire's servers download, render and translate the video into HTML 5, which is a Web standard that iOS devices support. Skyfire then displays a thumbnail that users can click on to stream the video from its servers.

"We will attack those pesky blue Flash error messages," said Jeffrey Glueck, Skyfire's CEO.

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iPhone, iPad friendly HTML 5 video penetration hits 54%

A new reports suggest that 54% of all video online is now HTML5 compatible (mostly H.264), which means it's iPad, iPhone and iPod touch compatible as well. Here are some of the discoveries from MeFeedia:

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Microsoft and Adobe holding secret anti-Apple meetings?

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer snuck into Adobe to talk with their CEO, Shantanu Narayen, about how they could team up, cartoon villain-style, to take on the growing mobile power of Apple and one Steven P. Jobs. the NYT Bits blog says:

The meeting, which lasted more than an hour, covered a number of topics, but one of the main thrusts of the discussion was Apple and its control of the mobile phone market and how the two companies could team up in the battle against Apple. A possible acquisition of Adobe by Microsoft were among the options.

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Adobe thinks Apple's new cross-compiler policy is great, lack of support for (non-existant) Flash player not so much...

Like Google, Adobe is also over-joyed at Apple's newly changed and clarified developer license agreement, specifically the part that now allows cross-compilers like Flash CS5 Packager for iPhone:

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Regarding Skyfire and proxied Flash on iPhone

Skyfire is a browser on other mobile platforms that was at one point purely proxy-based like Opera Mini (where everything was pre-rendered on a server then pushed out to the device via compressed files) but is now an all-grown up WebKit engine where Flash content is still proxied (processed server side and sent out as iOS friendly video).

They're submitting it to the App Store -- we know because, also like Opera, they announced their intent to submit -- for iPhone and some concerned internet denizens are wondering whether or not it will get accepted, and what if anything it may mean about Apple's current stance on Flash.

Short answer: nothing.

Long answer: Skyfire for iPhone would use the built-in WebKit viewer any app could use, and would probably proxy Flash the same way Microsoft claimed they worked with Apple to serve Silverlight. That means you'll have a way to watch video, but probably not interact with punch-the-monkey adds. Win.

Why is it an apparent issue then? Because Skyfire posted about submitting it, because Apple conspiracy theorists love to conspire about theories concerning Apple, and because the App Store approval process remains utterly opaque and at times seemingly arbitrary.

Hopefully Skyfire gets approved and works well. My guess is it will get approved partly because it won't work well -- on-the-fly transcoding Flash to H.264 is a daunting task for developers (getting Flash to run native on Android is still hit and miss), and will be an exercise in patience and perseverance for users accustomed to things that just work.

We'll see.


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Adobe Flash gives up on iPhone, gives out on Android?

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen has told Telegraph that, since Apple's just not that into Flash, he and his almost ubiquitous plugin are moving on:

"We believe in open systems. We believe in the power of the internet and in customers making choices and I think a lot of the controversy was about their decision at that point. They've made their choice. We've made ours and we've moved on." [Telegraph]

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Installing Frash on a Jailbroken iPhone

A lot of people have been waiting for Flash on an iPhone (unofficially of course), and if you're jailbroken, you can have it now, via Frash.  Frash is basically a port of Flash 10.1 for mobile.  We also have to keep in mind, it's in a severe Alpha stage.  And it shows.  But if you just can't wait to get your hands on a way to run Flash on an iPhone, click on through for some more thoughts as well as a walkthrough complete with video of how to install.

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Frash brings Flash to iPhone Jailbreak

We've seen Frash, the Jailbreak port of Android Flash, on the iPad but now it's making its move over to iPhone courtesy of Comex who coded it and Grant Pannell who compiled it.

Ally is going to look at this more in depth later in the week, but if you're Jailbroken and you've just been dying to get some Flash on your iPhone, there's now an alpha for that.

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New style YouTube embed for Flash-free iPhone video

YouTube is experimenting with a new i-frame based embed style that would server up good ole' Flash video for machines that support it and new fangled HTML5 video for Apple's iOS devices, iPhone and iPad:

An enhancement to our video embed capability is now available through a new embed code style. This new style uses and looks like this:

So, somewhere down the road, you'll be able to play the YouTube video you want, in-line on the website you want, on the device you want, Apple and Adobe be damned.

Example after the break.

[YouTube via 9to5Mac]

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