By Jek Suen Lee on Wed, 11/03/2010
Update 4/11: Due to demand overwhelming their servers, Skyfire has temporarily stopped all new downloads.
From the Skyfire Blog:
"The user experience was performing well for the first few hours, but as the surge continued, the peak load on our servers and bandwidth caused the video experience to degrade.
Thus we are effectively ‘sold out’ and will temporarily not accept new purchases from the App Store. We are working really hard to increase capacity and will be accepting new purchases from the App Store as soon as we can support it.
We are very grateful for the demand. Within 5 hours, Skyfire for iPhone became the top grossing app, the third highest paid app overall and the top application in the Utilities category. Wow!"
The Skyfire browser app has reportedly been approved by Apple and that's going to be a pretty exciting development for those of us who have had to forego watching videos from some of our favourite Flash-heavy sites like the Dailyshow, Colbert Report, Collegehumor etc.
Skyfire’s nifty work-around is to stream users’ browser requests for flash video from their servers, thus circumventing the Flash-hating iOS4.
CNET has reported about how it is supposed to work.
“When you get to a site that plays video, Skyfire will display the usual error message or symbol and then pop up a thumbnail with a "Play" button on it. That's what you press to launch the video playback." (Full article)
The downside is, Skyfire will only work for Flash Video. That means no Flash interactivity or Flash games (but who plays Flash games nowadays anyway). And it doesn’t work with popular TV-streaming site Hulu cos they said no thanks. (But I’m not based in the US so that doesn’t bother me since Hulu isn’t offered outside the US anyway...)
Given the upside and downside, will we pay for this app that is supposed to launch at US$2.99? I predict that it will at least make Top 25.
At the moment, Skyfire’s website, blog and facebook entries are all quiet about this momentous approval milestone and I can only guess that their PR guys are celebrating outside the office (guys you need to update your website!)