The Skyfire web browser had its much anticipated debut on Apple’s software store, but has been taken off after far more people purchased it than had been expected.
Demand was extremely high because Skyfire can do something no other app can do: allow iPhone users to watch video streamed from a wide variety of web sites.
Some are probably wondering how a piece of software can sell out — its developer should be able to supply an almost infinite number of copies. But this web browser uses a collection of proxy servers to convert Flash video into HTML5 video, which can then be played on the iPhone. The Skyfire team made the decision to limit how many copies of its app are sold to prevent these servers from being overwhelmed.
This company promises it is working to increase its server capacity, and says its app will be available again soon. When it is re-released, it will sell for $2.99.
More about Skyfire
Adobe Flash is widely used to show streaming video on the Web. It is required to view previous episodes of popular shows like Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has made it clear that the iOS is not going to support Flash, and his company has instead given it full support to streaming video over HTML5. Skyfire provides a work-around by turning Flash video into HTML5 video.
This unlocks content normally trapped behind those error messages with question marks and blue Legos.
However, there are a couple of limitations. Skyfire is blocked from accessing the videos on the popular video site Hulu. And this browser handles on Flash video, not Flash-based games and other apps.
There is already a version of this software for Google’s Android OS. It is currently available for free in the Android Market.