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SkyFire launches “world’s first” flash-enabled mobile browser for Android. [Spoiler: It's awesome!] [Update]

by Mike
Posted April 29th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

…..and just like that, Fennec was beaten to the punch.

While Fennec may be the hot stuff in the media’s eye currently with pre-alpha’s jumping around, another contender need not be forgotten — SkyFire. It’s been around for quite some time to Symbian and WinMo users, though today it’s Android’s time to shine.

You may recall a leaked beta of SkyFire for Android surfacing about a week ago that was honestly kind of rough around the edges. The task of getting a public-ready version so soon is quite a surprise and caught me off guard no doubt. I was prepared to wait a solid 1-2 more months to play with SkyFire on Android. Nevertheless, what does SkyFire 2.0 for Android have to offer? Continue on…

  • First off, the biggest treat with SkyFire 2.0 is Flash! That elusive technology has been reigned in and designed to turn the countless blue boxes and LEGO-looking icons into actual viewable content. All I can say is it’s not a moment too soon!

      **We must highlight however that it isn’t true flash in the phone’s browser. Instead, when the browser detects Flash video on a page, it engages in the server-side compression and conversion tom foolery to translate that Flash video into a more mobile friendly HTML5. Regardless, videos in the browser. Wo0t!
  • Second, a sort of smart search “Explore” feature will allow users to click a single button and have all kinds of content aggregate based on what they’re viewing at that very point in time.
  • Third, sharing web content is easy with the one-click share button. The now standard options for sharing content include: Facebook, Twitter, email, and SMS.
  • Finally, SkyFire uses cloud-based technology for pre-rendering/crunching down web pages on their end and sending smaller (though still high quality) web pages to your mobile device. Opera Mini is one browser that also operates this way.

Overall it looks very promising. I’ve been playing with SkyFire since last night and am really impressed. The staple feature — sudo-flash — works beautifully and was buttery smooth on my DROID. I also like how easy and quick it is to switch between mobile and desktop version of websites.

The SkyFire team did an awesome job here. It hands down beats the stock Android browser in speed. And personally, I like the layout much better as well. We’ll continue flogging it for the rest of the week and report back later how much we love love/hate it! Stay tuned! Video and press release below.

  • SkyFire for Android — Android Market Download

    Press Release

    Skyfire Launches the First Flash Video Enabled Mobile Browser for Android

    The first ‘mobile browser for the Social Media generation’ eliminates broken links from your Facebook stream, tracks Twitter buzz, and makes sharing easy.

    Mountain View, CA – April 29, 2010 – Skyfire, maker of the award-winning web-browser for mobile devices, today launches Skyfire 2.0 for Android, making the mobile internet experience faster, Flash-enabled and fun, with media recommendations and social features. Skyfire is one of the fastest growing mobile browsers in the world, ranking in the top 10 all-time apps in the Nokia Ovi Store and Windows Marketplace.
    Skyfire 2.0 for Android is built upon many of the popular features of Skyfire’s 1.0 browser, and uses cloud computing to give a “booster engine” to mobile phones so they can handle rich media like video. And now, Skyfire 2.0 for Android takes mobile browsing to a new level with the addition of the SkyBarTM, a new toolbar that lets users enjoy millions of videos previously unviewable on mobile, and also discover the latest buzz on any topic they browse.

    What is the SkyBarTM?

    The SkyBar brings the best of the internet to a mobile user’s fingertips, without any additional searching. By activating the SkyBar with a single touch, users are given access to Flash videos on a web page that otherwise would not play, related content recommendations, and easier sharing with their social networks.

    • Video –The “Video” icon enables users to play millions of Flash videos around the web that otherwise do not play on mobile. This unlocks content trapped behind those error messages with question marks and blue Legos. Behind the scenes, videos are translated into a format easier for the phone to play, like html5 video.
    • Related Content – The “Explore” icon brings the most relevant content on the internet to a user’s fingertips based on what they are viewing at the time. The Explore button pulls video, buzz, news, images and other sites from the web based on what is on the current page.
    • Sharing – The “Share” icon lets users share any article or video easily to their friends on Facebook, Twitter, or by email and SMS messaging, adding a comment, and all with a single click.

    The first mobile browser for the social media generation:

    “Skyfire 2.0 was built for the way people use social media and the web today. People are now starting their web experience by scanning their Facebook and Twitter news feeds,” explains Jeff Glueck, CEO of Skyfire. “Our new browser allows you to open those links and view the videos that your friends have shared. To make that work, people need a browser that can handle the full internet.”

    The Power of Cloud Computing:

    Skyfire on Android uses cloud-computing technology to enable this web video; the benefits for consumers include faster and smoother video playback, and extended battery life by offloading more of the work to cloud servers. At the same time, since Skyfire 2.0 is built on a webkit core, users get all the functionality they know on the default Android browser, such as pinch to zoom, copy and paste, find text on the page, open up to eight browser tabs, and more.

    Skyfire is one of the fastest growing downloadable browsers with usage increasing 500% year over year, and currently streaming over 25 million minutes of Flash video every month, more than any other mobile browser worldwide.

    Skyfire 2.0 for Android is available for download worldwide free at

    About Skyfire

    Skyfire is the creator of the Skyfire mobile browser, and has a mission to enable the “full internet” including rich media on mobile phones. The browser won the Best Mobile Application-People’s Voice at the 2009 Webby Awards and was named a Top App of 2009 by the New York Times’ Gadgetwise. Skyfire is based in Mountain View, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley. For more information, visit, or follow Skyfire on Twitter at

    **Update: After a solid 24 hours, I can honestly say this is as good as it gets on Android for now. I did notice that not every Flash video would get converted or recognized correctly. But such instances were few and far between. What I really noticed however was the increased speed over the stock browser and ease of use.

    So far I haven’t witnessed any force closes or any other issues as far as stabilities concerned. I’d say SkyFire did a nice job. How’s everyone else doing?

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6 ResponsesLeave a comment
  • Dirk
    April 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Used it a bit yesterday and I liked it a lot. Good Job Skyfire

  • bhandari
    April 29, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    RT @JeffGlueck: We like being called "awesome" here at Skyfire. Who doesn't? Aw, shucks.

  • Joseph John
    April 29, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    @jozzjonz Breaking: SkyFire launches “world's first” flash-enabled mobile browser for …: … increasing 500% yea…

  • SocialMediaDigest
    April 29, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    #RT #SM #SocialMedia Breaking: SkyFire launches “world's first” flash-enabled mobile browser for …… #social #media

  • Damien Saunders
    April 29, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Breaking: SkyFire launches “world's first” flash-enabled mobile browser for …: The first 'mo… #mobile #socialmedia

  • Jeff Glueck
    April 29, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    We like being called "awesome" here at Skyfire. Who doesn't? Aw, shucks.

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