Adobe Flash is officially banned from Apple iOS software. So does that mean you can't view Flash content on your iPhone or iPad? Well, not exactly. Beginning at 9 a.m. on Thursday morning – mark your calendars – the Apple Store will reportedly begin selling a $2.99 app called Skyfire, which effectively lets iPhone and iPad users perform an end-run around the Flash ban.
Here's how it works: You click on a piece of Flash content (which is pretty prevalent around the Web these days). The Skyfire software grinds to life, and translates the Flash coding into HTML5, a format accepted by Apple's iOS. Once the conversion is complete, a small thumbnail pops up on your touchscreen, and voilà – you can view that formerly-forbidden Flash content until the cows come home.
"We will attack those pesky blue Flash error messages," Skyfire CEO Jeffrey Glueck told CNN this week. Flash is currently available on a range of mobile operating systems, including Android and Symbian. And in recent months, Apple has begun to ease restrictions on Flash content. But the Skyfire app, which is developed by the Mountain View, Calif.-company Skyfire Labs, is being heralded by many analysts as the first real step in breaking the Flash ban.
In related news, the evidence of a Verizon iPhone continues to pile up. Late last week, Fortune magazine published a lengthy cover article asserting that the device does exist – and that it will ship in early 2011. The Verizon iPhone is a "fait accompli," Fortune contributor Sarah Ellison writes. But there is one drawback: Unlike the AT&T iPhone, the Verizon iPhone may not work internationally.