Skyfire, the only browser that lets users access Flash based videos on non-flash devices was released on the iPhone app store as a paid app, costing $2.99. However, it was taken off after 5 hours of its debut citing reasons of high number of downloads throttling its servers leading to a deteriorated user experience. The browser converts flash videos to html 5 format via its servers on the fly as and when users hit a page that contains a Flash video. The page then displays a special play icon, which displays the video content on clicking. Apple has openly refused to support flash on its iOS platform, although it supports the html 5 standard. Skyfire first converts flash content to html 5 on its servers and then delivers it to the user’s device. These servers were overloaded as Skyfire labs had not expected such a huge demand. The downloads were suspended and a ‘sold out’ sign was displayed!
Now Skyfire labs has resumed downloads on the app store. However, the downloads will be in batches so that the company is also able to increase server capacity simultaneously.
"We are taking this approach because Skyfire believes a good user experience should come first, and we would rather have fewer, happier customers, and add new users as we can support them," Jeff Glueck, chief executive of Skyfire Labs, said in the company’s blog.
The popularity of Skyfire shows that users still long for flash content on their phones and it is one of the most popular standards when it comes to video on the web.
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