Flash coming to a mobile browser near you?

Skyfire allows you to use flash on your mobile device. Photo from Creative Commons.

As most people are aware, Flash player is one of the few things lacking from the Apple mobile arsenal and it may soon be making an appearance on the device. A new mobile browser is being tested out that would be a downloadable app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. This browser is already on android enabled devices and now it’s looking to make the leap across platforms. This wonder browser will bring what many fans of Apple devices have been wanting since the start. It is called Skyfire.

For many people using Android devices, the Skyfire browser has already replaced the built-in one. It offers a much more rich and diverse browsing experience with a great deal of focus on better integrating the mobile versions of websites as well as the non-mobile renditions. The browser is sleek and cleanly built using the mobile interfaces people are used to with the added bonus of enhanced video content.

Skyfire was submitted for review by Apple earlier last month and now it’s only a waiting game. The addition of Flash to Apple will be a big game changer in the way things are currently run. Apple can more or less dictate what makes it on its device by removing users’ ability to use Flash. This ensures that they must purchase content through the iTunes store or view clips via YouTube, which does not use Flash. Now users of Apple mobile devices will be allowed to experience the Web in a whole new way on their mobile device, which is a way previously only reserved for their home computers.

Apple has consistently stated that Flash will not only pose a security risk to their mobile devices, but that it also takes up too many resources and will ultimately cause their devices to slow down. This is a chance for Apple to change their stance on Flash. This could very well be what the iPod Touch and iPhone need, an updated and sleeker browser with Flash fully integrated. If they accept the Skyfire proposal, this opens the window for a different sort of app development more focused on the Web browser than downloadable content.

If the browser does get accepted, which most news sources seem to indicate it will, this will cut down significantly on the underground app development which has been occurring in great numbers in the past few years. The reason for this is fewer people will be Jailbreaking their iPods. Jailbreaking an iPod is when you disable the controls that Apple has installed on the device to prevent it from downloading and installing non-approved apps from third parties. Jailbreaking is a violation of the terms of service because when a user Jailbreaks their iPod, they are taking a major risk if something goes wrong. Once the Skyfire makes it to the app store fewer people will feel the need to Jailbreak their iPods since the main attraction of doing that was the ability to get apps that allowed for Flash video to be played.

If Apple accepts Skyfire into the app marketplace it will have an effective cut down on one of the major problems with its users while at the same time silencing many of its critics. While most people assume the app will be accepted, it is still a waiting game at this point and the ball is in Apple’s court.