Saturday, August 21, 2010
Smokescreen promises Flash on the iPhone without jailbreaking
Hey check this out, there’s a cool new way to view Flash video content on an iPhone without having to resort to jailbreaking. It’s been aptly called ‘Smokescreen’.
“It runs entirely in the browser, reads in SWF binaries, unzips them (in native JS), extracts images and embedded audio and turns them in to base64 encoded data:uris, then stitches the vector graphics back together as animated SVG” says the creator.
Darrell Etherington writing on the Apple Blog on the GigaOM site says that Flash isn’t something that he misses on the iPhone but still, he wouldn’t mind being able to see some sites on his mobile. He tried out smokescreen himself.
“the experience so far is somewhat hit or miss, with simple animations like those found in Flash banners working very well, but with more advanced things (like a Strongbad email animation) it runs rather slow.
“Also there was no sound when I tested it on my iPhone 3GS, which I assume is a limitation of the method used” said Etherington.
Ok so it is far from perfect at the moment, but as the code is going to be open source, it means that all those geeks and techie freaks out there can work on it until it is.
“Smokescreen is definitely off to an impressive start, though” says Etherington.
“I have a feeling that this tech will catch on far faster with advertisers looking to cut corners rather than redesign their ads from the ground up for iPhone OS consumption
“Both these workarounds are a prime example of how if people really want their device to do something, they’ll figure out a way” he says.
The techie site Ubergizmo reckons that although the ability to play Flash content on an iPhone is good news “The bad news is that while it seems to work fine with irritating animated banner ads, more alluring Flash content such as videos and games are slow and laggy.”
Again, although Smokescreen might not be up to scratch yet the overall feeling is positive.
“Fortunately it’s a good step in the right direction, and the code is going open-source soon, so hopefully we’ll see some major development on this” says the Ubergizmo site.
The decision by Apple to ban Flash has upset some people who would like to see Flash on the iPhone one way or another and where there’s a will there’s a way as they say.