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Cloud Browse Flash App Is OK With Apple

By Erika Morphy MacNewsWorld ECT News Network
Apr 16, 2010 5:00 AM PT

The widening chasm between Apple and Adobe has inspired a number of third-party companies to develop bridges to cross the divide -- that is, workarounds that will let iPad and iPhone users view videos created using Adobe's Flash technology.

Cloud Browse Flash App Is OK With Apple

For the most part, these companies have taken the approach of Brightcove, which introduced Brightcove Experience for HTML5 shortly before the iPad launched. It is a video publishing tool that works using the common Internet protocol HTML5, allowing a site to become "iPad-friendly" without having to do a lot of customization. In other words, it is aimed at Web sites or content creators that want their content to render properly on the devices.

The End-User

One company, though, is addressing the problem from the end-user perspective -- and with the apparent tacit approval of Apple.

AlwaysOn Technologies just received approval to offer its Cloud Browse app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch on iTunes.

Cloud Browse is a downloadable cloud-based browser. Once installed on a device, it allows users to view sites sporting Flash with no trouble, Rob Walch, host of Today in iPhone, told MacNewsWorld. Walch has tested the app.

As of Thursday afternoon, it became temporarily unavailable, however, when the company took its servers down for maintenance and upgrades, according to a default message that appeared in response to attempts to use the app.

AlwaysOn did not respond to MacNewsWorld's request for an interview in time for publication.

Cloud Browse appears to repurpose Flash, converting it into pages viewable on iPads and iPhones.

The fact that Apple has approved it, as of April 12, implies that it meets the developer license agreement terms for dealing with Flash.

Apple did not return MacNewsWorld's request for comments in time for publication.

It is interesting that Cloud Browse was approved just as tensions between Adobe and Apple seemed to spike over the Flash issue, with rumors of potential lawsuits circulating in the tech press.

However, approval of Cloud Browse certainly cannot be construed as a softening toward Flash on Apple's part.

"This is the first app that I know of that let's you browse to a Web site that has Flash without jail breaking," Walch said.

RipCode Joins the Game

Other tools are coming to market, meanwhile, to address the Flash issue for Apple device users.

One recent entrant is RipCode, which just unveiled the TransAct Transcoder V6. Like the Brightcove tool, it targets Web content producers -- giving them a way to open up video content to users without having to move to HTML5.

RipCode did not return a call from MacNewsWorld in time for publication. TransAct Transcoder V6 works by intercepting a Flash-based file or live video request and converting it to the appropriate code accepted by the iPad -- without the need for any pretranscoding or a device-based client, according to its Web site.

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