Skyfire releases updated browser for Android to support Flash 10.1

Skyfire, the mobile browser that lets users watch flash videos on their phones, updated its Android version to 2.1. With the update, the browser now supports Flash 10.1, to work with more websites (over 7,50,000 more as claimed by Skyfire) that use flash videos and also offers considerable speed improvements with better battery life. skyfire-2-sb1 The alternative browser has gained a lot of popularity ever since it was released for the Android platform in April. Since then, the browser has been downloaded over 5,00,000 times. Skyfire helps users watch flash videos on websites that are not optimized for mobile phone surfing. The browser works by detecting flash videos on websites and loading and converting them to HTML5 on its servers for faster and smoother playback. However, the browser cannot display other kinds of flash content such as navigation elements, banners and flash based embedded games. Recently, Adobe had released a native version of Flash 10.1 for Android 2.2 (Froyo) that supports embedded flash videos, navigation elements, text input, gestures, and multi-touch. Users have however reported far from satisfactory performance, choppy playback and excessive battery drain. The developers of Skyfire claim that the browser delivers better performance than the native version. According to them, since the videos are first transcoded to HTML5, there is very little buffering and the playback is smooth, requiring lesser processing and better battery life. They claim that using Skyfire ensures 30% reduction in battery use compared to native flash on Android. Skyfire can be downloaded free of charge from the android market or from get.skyfire.com

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