The lack of Flash support is a major annoyance for many iPad users. Still, it is possible, through some detours, to get apps, websites and games that use Flash running on the Apple tablet. We show you how!
If you want to view websites written in Flash on the iPad, play Flash games, or open a Flash video, the iPad is a bummer because the device doesn't support Adobe technology. But don't worry: it is still possible to conjure Flash on the iPad. A number of apps in the App Store can help with that.
Why doesn't the iPad support Flash?
Apple's former CEO Steve Jobs didn't like what he thought was too bulky Flash for mobile devices, so he refused to allow it on the iOS platform. Instead, Jobs chose the alternative HTML5 standard, which is slowly replacing Flash on the web.
A number of browser apps for the iPad allow you to play Flash videos and run Flash games. The main ones are Photon Browser, Puffin, Skyfire Browser and iSwifter Browser. The browsers run the underlying Flash code of sites on their own servers and then send the result to your iPad.
Photon Browser is the most popular of the four browsers mentioned. The app costs 4.49 euros and serves as a good alternative to Safari. The app offers a Flash mode that you can activate by tapping the lightning icon at the top right.
Above: Moshi Monsters works fine in the Photon Browser app. Below: Moshi Monsters doesn't work with Safari at all.
We managed to visit the websites of Moshi Monsters, Disney Fantasyland and Flash Driving Game without any problems. Sometimes it works a bit slow, but you can play with the settings to optimize the speed and resolution of the websites you visit.
Puffin is free to try and costs 2.69 euros in the full version. We have to say that Moshi Monsters (below) and Flash Driving Game run fantastic. Still, it couldn't handle the Flash version of Disney Fantasyland. The option to try the app first is a big plus, as it helps you determine if the software meets your needs.
In August 2012, Adobe decided to no longer support Flash installations via the Google Play Store, which also ended Flash on Android devices.
Skyfire ($4.49) works fine for watching Flash video, but doesn't support websites, games, or animations, so it's not a full-fledged alternative to Flash on the PC.
iSwifter is also designed for Flash games and can be used for ten minutes for seven days. After that, a full version of the app costs 6.99 euros. A big disadvantage is that you have to be connected to WiFi to use iSwifter, as the app doesn't work with 3G and 4G connections.
Above: Moshi Monsters in the iSwifter browser app for the iPad.