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Accessing Adobe Flash Content On The iPad

The IPad is capable of some amazing feats, but it can't (and probably never will) display Adobe Flash content without help, and sometimes you just need to watch something on Amazon Instant Video.  Many people have bridged this gap by setting up remote desktop apps, but that can be difficult and not always feasible. The apps below, however, are all able to display Flash content on the iPad without any extra hardware-- not on your end, anyway. Instead, they stream the content to you from a computer or server in “the cloud” with mixed (usually laggy) results.

Essential Apps

Photon Flash Video Player & Private Web Browser for iPad

by Appsverse Inc.

Photon Flash Web Browser for iPad is the most versatile and consistent option in the category, as it displays all Flash content, including videos, games, and websites. Photon performs like a normal browser until you click on a button with a lightning bolt on it, at which point it starts a remote streaming session that allows you to view Flash content. One nice feature is that Photon allows you to set how much of your bandwidth you want to use. Once I adjusted the settings, it handled everything I threw at it, from Amazon Instant Videos to Marvel Digital Comics.  As with all streaming, the video quality and watchability can be hit-or-miss and the streaming interface is at times frustrating, but no other app is as easy to use and works as well on as many websites.

iSwifter Games Browser - play all the hottest flash MMOs & social web games on the iPad, instantly

by YouWeb L.L.C.

iSwifter allows users to view Flash content via a cloud computer for 30 minute sessions (you can get unlimited time with a $4.99 IAP).  The app is geared to users of Flash games, so much so that it displays links to several popular Flash gaming portals at open.  Although iSwifter is capable of loading other Flash content, it is clearly not designed for it and fails on some sites that other apps can load. The browser's interface is difficult to use and it is often frustrating navigating to sites to get content.  Still, if you only need Flash in small doses and from discrete sites, or you like Facebook games, this is a must download.

Notable Apps

AlwaysOnPC Personal Cloud Desktop -iPad Edition

by Xform Computing

AlwaysOnPC iPad Edition does far more than just display Flash content; it allows users to connect to their “own” personal “computer in the cloud” (via an encrypted, password-protected interface that you must register to use) and access many desktop apps, including a browser with Flash and Java. My attempts to load sites with Flash were successful; however, there was a noticeable lag with the video that made it virtually unwatchable. The price is too steep for those only wanting to display Flash, but if you want a remote desktop without having to use your actual desktop, then this is the app for you.

Puffin Web Browser

by CloudMosa, Inc.

Puffin Web Browser is another remote connection app that displays most Flash content, although not as well or as consistently as Photon. Its full-screen video option works well and offers the promised smoother video, unfortunately it didn't work on many common sites. Using the app is frustrating, because it is always streaming content and does not resize the remote computer's screen to fit the iPad's screen, which means that to see all of a website, you have to scroll in all directions.

Decent Apps

Skyfire Web Browser for iPad - The Flash Video Browser

by Skyfire Labs, Inc.

Skyfire Web Browser for iPad only loads Flash videos with individual urls that are detectible by the app. If you want to load any other flash content,  this is not the choice for you. Even if you just want Flash video, the other apps are better choices, as they loaded videos Skyfire could not. It tries to make up for its lacks by integrating social networking such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Reader.

360 Web Browser | Download Manager and Firefox Sync


360 Web Browser uses the Clip Converter Plugin to convert Flash content from a few supported websites so you can view the Flash videos on your iPad.  It works well on the sites it supports, but otherwise functions as a normal iOS browser (i.e., flash-less).  If all you want is to load video from supported websites, then this is a great option. If not, you should look elsewhere.

Other Apps
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