I thought that title might get your attention! However, it’s true. I can now see Flash based websites and content on my iPhone via this clever App called Cloud Browse. Cloud Browse isn’t doing anything revolutionary. It’s a “virtual machine.” I’m just glad that someone finally got around to doing this for the iPhone. The way it works is you launch the App, tap the web button and enter the URL that you want to go to. The App navigates to that site on the web via a desktop version of Firefox running the full Flash Player and you see the content on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. You can navigate the links of the site by tapping on them just as you would in mobile Safari. Also since all the processing is happening on their servers, it’s really FAST even over a slow cellular connection. The reason it’s so fast is that it’s only having to send screen and sound to your Cloud Browse on your iPhone.
I even get Flash Video too
I was completely blown away when I played a video on thebeatles.com and not only did I see the video playing (not the best frame rate mind you, still watchable though), but I also heard the sound via the App. So no matter which side of the whole Flash debate you might be on, it’s hard to argue that having a FREE App that you can “choose” to install, that doesn’t actually run Flash on your iPhone and allows you to see the sites that you CAN’T see in the built in Safari browser, is a great thing to have. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. It takes a second or two to respond to your tap once you’re on the Flash page. Again you have to remember that it’s having to send that tap to the site and then return the results to your App. I also have security concerns. So I wouldn’t be too quick to use it for logging into secure sites such as banking, because at that point you are keying in your user names and passwords on THEIR servers, however, for those times when I need to see Flash content on a site that doesn’t require me to log into I’ll absolutely be firing up Cloud browse!
Above is CokeUSA.com on the iPhone in Safari and of course the Flash content is missing.
Here’s CokeUSA.com in Cloud Browse running and displaying the Flash Content on the iPhone.
The Bottom Line
Whether you love Flash or hate Flash, Flash is on many many many websites today and undoubtedly you’ve run across at least one that you couldn’t access via the Mobile Safari browser. So having an App that let’s me view Flash sites when i need to is a welcomed addition to my iPhone and iPad. Although this App is not perfect, it works VERY WELL and I’m amazed by the sites that I’ve been able to view on it that I just would have never expected to work. Then again, why wouldn’t they work since it’s happening on a desktop computer running the full Flash Player? Sure I would love to have Flash natively supported on the iPhone platform, and while that may never happen, I’ll take this App in the meantime to see the sites that I WANT TO SEE! Let’s hope that an iPad version is in the works too.