Skyfire ‘sold out’ - temporarily pulled from App Store | iLounge News


Skyfire ‘sold out’ - temporarily pulled from App Store

Skyfire Labs reports that it has been forced to suspend sales of its new Skyfire app after only a few hours of sales due to extremely high demand. Released yesterday afternoon, Skyfire allows users to view online Flash video from the web by using intermediate proxy servers to transcode Flash video to an iOS-friendly format. Skyfire Labs reports that the application was received with “unbelievable enthusiasm” and became the top grossing app on the App Store within five hours, however the popularity of the app quickly overwhelmed the company’s proxy servers and bandwidth causing the video experience to degrade. As a result, the developer has suspended sales of the application, declaring the app effectively ‘sold out.’ Skyfire reports that it is “working really hard to increase capacity” and hopes to be able to resume sales of the application soon.

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Who knew that people actually want Flash support on their mobile devices? ;-)

This is the thing that I’m always going off about and get continually frustrated over the resistance to common sense. (Too) Many of the regulars around here live in their little Mac/Apple centric bubble where the alleged fact that less than 3% of the world may have been “suffering” through poor Flash support on a barely significant computing platform is justification for deliberately substandard web browsing because Steve Jobs has got it in his head to try and force Adobe to do things his way.

Meanwhile app after app that would drain my touch battery in under 4 hours gets approved, but I’m “protected” from poor mobile performance from Flash :rolleyes:

I hope Skyfire gets the kinks worked out and I hope this sort of thing is a wake up call to Apple. We may buy your device because it provides the overall best solution for out needs, but we’re not collectively buying your BS on top of it. Getting a vocal minority to cheerlead your boneheaded decisions is notable, but it doesn’t actually change reality.

Posted by Code Monkey in Toronto on November 4, 2010 at 11:16 AM (CDT)


Having bought sky fire before it was ‘sold out’ I can definitely say it is not worth it!!

Most sites will not allow flash to be converted and the few sites that do have already released beta versions or HTML support!

Reading the reviews on sky fire before it was ‘pulled’ everyone was of the same opinion!

don’t buy!!

Posted by Martin in Toronto on November 4, 2010 at 1:02 PM (CDT)


Code Monkey, I don’t necessarily disagree, but I also don’t agree with Apple’s stance.  Take AOL. For years, they had proprietary software for access to the Internet. At one point, it would screw up access to Windows NT networks. But AOL felt they could dominate the home Internet access market and for a time they did.

Apple has the same viewpoint. I’m not saying they are right, just that they are doing it. The difference is that since they are doing it on their own hardware, unlike AOL, they can actually change the market because their hardware is highly sought after.

Posted by Big Money Tony in Toronto on November 4, 2010 at 1:06 PM (CDT)


It’s trash anyways.

Posted by VULTR3 in Toronto on November 4, 2010 at 1:31 PM (CDT)


@BMT, they can change *some* of the market, but the can’t change all of it because no matter how popular their hardware is in niche classes, it still amounts to a drop in the bucket of all web traffic. Take every Mac, every iPhone, every touch, and every iPad and make them disappear this instant, do you think any but a small handful of websites would even notice the difference in traffic tomorrow?

Skyfire may or may not have been a good product (didn’t download it since Apple trained me well to only use my iOS devices to check on forums, my desktop is my real internet device), but the response and problems from overload shows that a large number of iOS users want the choice, and if Apple can’t even convince their own customer base they know best, they’re never going to win over the internet developers who have the remaining 99+% of their users to deal with instead of catering to Jobs’ deliberately crippled products.

Posted by Code Monkey in Toronto on November 4, 2010 at 3:39 PM (CDT)


The AOL analogy is working in the wrong direction.

AOL used to = proprietary software, which you couldn’t get on to the internet without, which caused problems with running your computer.

This is exactly what flash does - it’s proprietary software, which they don’t want you to view content without, which causes crashes and slowdowns, and reduced battery life, and alll the other crap which goes with it.

What people want is video on their iOS device.

Apple is not doing this to gain a foothold, how ? By making website makers adhere to a specification which anyone can get hold of, and any modern web browswer will be able to access ? How on earth could this be considered trying to create a proprietary system ?

Posted by MOOSE in Toronto on November 5, 2010 at 2:56 PM (CDT)


@Code Monkey, again, I don’t disagree with you. Would rather have flash on my iPod Touch than not. My point is that Apple is going down a path visited by another corporate giant, except that they have an edge, they manufacture and control the whole process.

@Moose, in continuation to the AOL thought, if I suggested Apple is going proprietary, I apologize. Apple is not going proprietary, as their stance is that flash is the past.  Apple is trying to change the entire market.

@All, Apple is trying to change the present and future of video on mobile.  Ultimately time will tell whether or not they are successful. Like AOL, who convinced their users to only use AOL e-mail and only AOL Internet access.  Except because of flaws in their target market and corporate non-acceptance, they failed.  Apple can and may fail on their anti-flash stance, but they at least have the possibility of being successful. Either people will ditch their iOS products and go to Android, RIM, or Windows 7 or they move some or the entire world to their way. Look at audio files.  There are several formats and to this day you can still get files in other than mp3.

Posted by Big Money Tony in Toronto on November 5, 2010 at 3:52 PM (CDT)


Re #7: “Look at audio files.  There are several formats and to this day you can still get files in other than mp3.”

This is such an over simplification. While video content IS a large part of the Flash content out there, it’s only a subset of the Flash content out there. HTML 5 can do *nothing* to address the non-video Flash content out there. Web games, interactive sites, etc., all that stuff is simply gone permanently on iOS devices until someone else re-invents the wheel and comes up with a new exectuable container, which will then go through the whole, “waaah! you didn’t code it good enough for 3% of the computer users out there, I’m not going to approve your tech on the iPhone, thbbbt!” process all over again.

Similarly, it doesn’t address the added “security” for content deliverers that Flash containers provide over HTML 5. It’s a lot easier to lock down your content as a Flash video (albeit hardly full proof) than HTML 5.

Last, the audio file is a poor example. Apple didn’t change the market, they just managed to elbow enough room for their choice of audio format by default through the success of the iPod device. Most online vendors stuck to .wma until the labels backed off of DRM and then they switched to .mp3. To this day, Apple is the only major vendor for AAC audio files, and in the world of online music sharing, which dwarfs music sales at least 100 to 1, the file format of choice is LAME mp3. To this day, the number two audio player maker in the United States, Sansa, doesn’t support AAC on most of their devices, nor does the king of bargain endcap players, Coby.

The Flash thing is more akin to the early combat with Macs between USB and firewire. Apple was so certain firewire was better they shipped devices with, at most, *one* port even though it was obvious to all but the hardcore Apple fans that, outside of Apple and Mac Ally devices, that USB peripherals were the present and future. After a couple of years of dissatisfied customers and watching the rest of the world ignore their “we swear our tech is better” protest, Apple relented and began supporting both, eventually dropping firewire support altogether on most models.


If I can buy Angry Birds for $0.99, and it’s the number one paid app, and it’s heavily promoted by Apple, and it will drain my battery to nothing in about 3 hours, I think we could live with support on an iPad.

Posted by Code Monkey in Toronto on November 6, 2010 at 8:43 AM (CDT)

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