Flash Content on iPads, iPhones and most likely all other Mobile Devices!!!

Smokescreen, this is a great name for a tool that allows iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch users run Flash content. On top of that it is a great name considering the developer behind it is actually called Chris Smoak. For their website you can click (here).

Smokescreen is essentially a flash player completely coded in JavaScript. This means that Flash files (movies, files with extension SWF, etc) can be played in Safari on Apple mobile devices without any problem. The website has a few demos that show how an SWF Flash file plays within this “SmokeScreen” player.

Most demo links on the website show side-by-side flash content with and without the smokescreen player so you can compare performance on your desktop browser. Right after seeing it work on your PC/Mac run the same page on your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch and you will be able to see Flash content playing through the SmokeScreen player.

There are some unresolved issues with the more complex Flash applications (they take some time longer than they would take on a desktop) but the tool passes the initial hurdle of not being able to play SWF content on Apple’s devices. Please beware that this is a working version of the code and it may not always work on all different browsers. The JavaScript has more than 8000 lines of code (yes, eight thousand), so it definitely takes a while to load and run the very first time you load it. Be patient… after that, you can expect quick execution times, but not as fast as native Flash. The JavaScript files take up a whopping 175 Kbytes. The code is already announced to become open source in the near future. This means that all the bright minds out there will be able to enhance and optimize it for showtime.

According to the developer: "It runs entirely in the browser, reads the SWF binaries, unzips them (in native JS), extracts images, and embedded audio and turns them into base64 encoded data:uris, then stitches the vector graphics back together as an animated SVG."

Now, I don’t have an iPad or any Apple products, but this jewel of JavaScript coding is surely going to benefit all browsers on all mobile devices, as long as they can use JavaScript and play SVG files, regardless of the platform.

Let’s just hope that Apple doesn’t block this type of JavaScript from running on Safari out of spite…

About Diego Samuilov

Editor in Chief/Founder Diego Samuilov is an executive, consultant, IT strategist and book, e-book and web published author. Diego has worked in Microsoft’s environments since 1990. Since then, he has successfully filled many positions related to the Software Development lifecycle. Having worked as a developer, analyst, technical lead, project lead, auditor and, since 1996 a project manager, manager, director and VP in the Software Development, Server, Desktop and Mobile environments. Diego is very passionate about the software development process, which has played a great part in his skills development. Since the introduction of the first ever PDA (the Apple Newton MessagePad) in 1994 and Windows CE in 1998 he has pioneered and pushed the envelope in the field of mobile software development. He has developed many solutions used in mobile markets, desktop and server environments. He participates in public and private developer community events. He actively collaborates with the community at support forums and blogs. Diego is the author of "Windows Phone for Everyone" available [HERE].