While every day more and more websites support other technologies besides Flash (like HTML 5 for example), many still rely on Flash exclusively, especially for movies. Naturally, if you own an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and you are used to watching Flash movies online, you surely have noticed the lack of Flash support on iOS devices and are probably looking for ways to implement it on your own.
That is why here we’ll show you one simple, yet effective way to watch Flash videos for free on your iOS devices. Even better, you won’t even need to jailbreak your iPhone to do it.
Play Flash Videos on Your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
To view Flash videos on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, go to the App Store and download the Puffin Web Browser Free application.
As its name clearly says, this is an alternative web browser whose main feature is the ability to display Flash videos. It doesn’t display it natively on the device, but that doesn’t affect its performance at all. In fact, what Puffin Web Browser Free does is to play Flash remotely on the company’s servers and stream it to your iOS device. In their own words:
“The Puffin Browser encapsulates remote Flash technology to enlighten the mobile users to watch Flash videos, play Flash games, and tap into an endless sea of Flash content; all by running Flash on our servers.”
The approach is not only smart (making it completely legal for them to be in the App Store,) it is also consumer friendly, since it will not drain your iPhone’s or iPad’s battery nearly as much as playing native Flash video would.
Testing Puffin Web Browser
To put the app to the test, I used both Safari and Puffin Web Browser Free to load Watch32, a website where you can watch movies and TV series for free and that displays them all using Flash.
On Safari, I tapped on a TV series to see if it would play. As you can see from the screenshot below, it wouldn’t even show where the series is supposed to be playing.
Then I did the same on Puffin Web Browser Free. To my surprise, not only did it recognize the content as Flash, but it started playing the series almost immediately. It suffered from a bit of slowdown during the first few seconds, but it quickly started running smoothly.
As you see, the Puffin Web Browser Free app not only allows you to play Flash videos on your iPhone or other iOS device, it also gives you some nice additional options, like the choice of watching Flash video in full screen or watch it play right on the page as you can see below.
Now, one last thing to note before we conclude: While Puffin Web Browser Free comes at no cost, it limits its Flash support to 2 weeks. If you really watch a lot of Flash movies, then the $2.99 for the Pro version of the application (which is universal by the way) will be a small and completely worthy investment.
If you would like to keep the app’s Flash support for free though (who wouldn’t you?), Puffin’s developers have come up with a quite original system: You are given free referral codes that you can share with up to 12 friends for them to download Puffin Web Browser Free. Once they do, you will have four extra weeks of free Flash support for each of them.
Do you know of other ways to play Flash videos smoothly on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch? Share them in the comments below and keep checking this post. We’ll be updating it as better alternatives become available.