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Just last week, a couple of much-trusted birdies popped into the MobileCrunch office, claiming to have some details on SkyFire (a Flash-friendly mobile browser already available on a number of smartphone platforms) and its impending iPhone release. “They’ve entered the very final round of testing!” they said. “It’s going to get submitted to Apple early next week!”
We’re one day past what we’d personally consider “early next week”, but sure enough: SkyFire has just announced that they’ve submitted the browser for Apple’s oh-so-important stamp of approval. Start the timers, folks.
SkyFire is sure to be at least somewhat controversial, as it brings support for a good amount of the web’s Flash video content to a platform that very openly lacks it. We’ve all seen the mudslinging between Apple and Adobe on the matter of Flash on the iPhone, so to see it potentially find it’s way onto the handset in any form is interesting.
However, it’s worth noting (because it’s the primary reason SkyFire might not be instantly denied for breaking Apple’s guidelines): SkyFire doesn’t actually play, or interpret, or transcode Flash content on the handset. It uses a bit of proxy magic to remotely convert Flash video content into something a little more iPhone friendly, and then embeds that video content for playback at the user’s request. As a result of this conversion, SkyFire can handle Flash video — but most other Flash content (like games, or embedded music players) is a no go.
SkyFire seems to be pretty confident that they’ll get approved quick, saying that the application was developed “with significant oversight and feedback from Apple”, and that “it adheres to every guideline put forth by Apple regarding HTML5 video playback for iOS”.
I’m expecting to get a build of SkyFire for iPhone before the day is out, so check back in over the next few days for our early impressions, and maybe, just maaaybe (read: probably) some SkyFire-vs-Opera-vs-Safari speed tests.