While a lot of online video has made the move to HTML 5, there are still plenty of Flash videos floating around that leave iDevice users with a "Please Upgrade Flash" message on their displays. With Apple seemingly unlikely to ever support Flash on its iOS devices, Skyfire came to the rescue last year with its Skyfire browser that allows Flash video to be viewed on said devices. Realizing that, despite its lack of Flash support, most people are generally quite happy using Safari, Skyfire has now released a standalone Flash player for iOS devices called VideoQ.
VideoQ deals with Flash video in the same way as the Skyfire browser. Instead of processing the Flash video on the device itself, which is on Apple's no go list, the video is rendered on Skyfire's servers and re-encoded in a HTML 5-compatible format before being relayed to the VideoQ app on your iDevice.
VideoQ works with any mobile browsers that run into problems with Flash video, including Safari and Opera. When the user comes across some Flash video they'd like to check out, they tap the "Mail Link to this Page" option in the browser and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Users can also manually copy and paste the URL into the VideoQ app or install a bookmarklet to send the link. Then, upon launching the VideoQ app, the video is waiting in the queue ready for viewing.
For those keeping an eye on their data usage, Skyfire says its streaming video achieves average data savings of 75 percent compared to watching the same video natively - but expect some trade offs in terms of frame rate and picture quality.
With Skyfire's servers reportedly dealing with somewhere in the area of eight million video requests a day, the VideoQ app also includes lists of the day's most watched content sorted into channels by content. This is perfect for those looking for something to occupy their eyeballs and don't want the hassle of switching back and forth from the browser to the VideoQ app.
VideoQ is a universal app and is currently only available to U.S. and Canadian customers through the iTunes App Store for the introductory price of US$1.99. Skyfire plans to make the app available in more countries in the near future.
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