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iSwifter Brings Flash Games To the iPad — Sort Of

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the until-jobs-smash dept.

Portables (Games) 81

itwbennett writes "Peter Smith is blogging about the free iSwifter app, which aims to solve the 'no Flash games on iPads' problem. The app, which is currently available for the iPad and planned for the iPhone and other devices, 'streams Flash games to your iPad. You run the app, which contacts iSwifter servers, which are actually running the Flash. Ideally, the effect is identical to running the app directly from a web page.' Smith tested the app and calls it an 'interesting idea,' but an imperfect solution — at least right now."

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iSwiffer? (4, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 4 years ago | (#33614490)

Does it also clean your floor?

Re:iSwiffer? (2, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33614524)

Yes. Yes it does.

Re:iSwiffer? (1)

grouchomarxist (127479) | about 4 years ago | (#33620238)

It's also a dessert topping.

Re:iSwiffer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33614534)

Baby come back!
You can blame it all on me!

Re:iSwiffer? (1)

martas (1439879) | about 4 years ago | (#33614604)

die.

Re:iSwiffer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33614886)

live, gp.

Re:iSwiffer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33614572)

Does it also clean your floor?

No, it's a dessert topping you insensitive clod!

Re:iSwiffer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33614906)

Yeah, it can mop the floor with steve jobs...

i think cloudbrowse does the same thing (3, Informative)

alen (225700) | about 4 years ago | (#33614530)

there is some "browser" i have on my iphone that does the same thing. it's like transfering PC Anywhere or VNC. painfully slow and PITA to control the other website

Re:i think cloudbrowse does the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33614582)

Except if you RTFA you'd see it doesn't do the same thing, because iSwifter is specifically coded for each Flash game to turn multitouch gestures into mouseclicks.

JS Flash players (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33614532)

How does this compare to other SWF players written in JavaScript, such as Gordon [github.com] or Smokescreen [smokescreen.us] ? Ideally, these SWF players should run entirely inside Safari.

Re:JS Flash players (4, Informative)

Joe Tie. (567096) | about 4 years ago | (#33614834)

I haven't been paying close attention, so I could be a bit out of date here. As far as I'm aware though, mobile safari doesn't have JIT compilation for JS yet. Without that, anything intensive with javascript will run at a snail's pace.

Re:Android device with Android Market (1)

randy of the redwood (1565519) | about 4 years ago | (#33616084)

I want an Android device with Android Market, but I don't want a phone. Is that so much to ask?

Looks like you will get this with the Samsung Tab.

Be careful what you ask for - it may not have a phone, but require a contract anyway... http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/16/samsung-galaxy-tab-wifi-only-version-coming/ [engadget.com]

what's the point? (1)

alen (225700) | about 4 years ago | (#33614542)

farmville is already on the iphone/ipad and links to facebook. and there is enough porn out there that works on the iphone/ipad that lack of flash isn't that big a deal. worst case you can download your porn yourself using firefox on your PC, convert using handbrake and carry all your porn with you

Converting H*R makes it 10x bigger (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33614568)

and there is enough porn out there that works on the iphone/ipad that lack of flash isn't that big a deal.

What if I don't want FarmVille or porn, but instead I want the games and vector animations on Newgrounds, plus all of Homestar Runner and Weebl and Bob?

convert using handbrake

I tried converting an SWF vector animation to a video file. The video was ten times bigger.

Re:what's the point? (3, Informative)

samkass (174571) | about 4 years ago | (#33614612)

My company's internal web sites use Flash all over the place. In our workflow system, our annual review system, etc. If the iPad is really going to go corporate in a big way, it will eventually need Flash for these kinds of uses. Internal corporate systems are not going to be rewritten in HTML5 anytime soon.

Re:what's the point? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33614658)

@samkass my company's internal web sites don't use any flash. #getabetterjob #youfailit

Re:what's the point? (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | about 4 years ago | (#33614778)

You must not have bosses or a marketing department that demands pretty graphs for pointless meetings.

Pretty Graphs (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#33614992)

You must not have bosses or a marketing department that demands pretty graphs for pointless meetings.

I have yet to attend a meeting in any size company that required animated, rather than static, graphs.

Re:Pretty Graphs (1)

thousandinone (918319) | about 4 years ago | (#33615392)

If your experience with company internal meetings covers a statistically significant representative sample of corporations, you need to learn to keep a job for more than a week.

Re:Pretty Graphs (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#33615592)

If your experience with company internal meetings covers a statistically significant representative sample of corporations

With companies and meetings, a handful is plenty. I have learned that meetings are the same at any level, in companies of any size.

Re:Pretty Graphs (1)

thousandinone (918319) | about 4 years ago | (#33615676)

With companies and meetings, a handful is plenty. I have learned that meetings are the same at any level, in companies of any size.

With medications and reactions to them, a handful is plenty. I have learned in clinical trials that reactions are the same for any individual, and there's no chance of side effects.

Re:Pretty Graphs (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#33615872)

With medications and reactions to them, a handful is plenty

What a stupid statement. Medications effects and reactions have shown to differ between people; meetings have shown themselves to be universal in nature.

And it still doesn't answer the original question of why a meeting would NEED an animated graph. You are just arguing for the sake of being an asshole; I'll give you the last response since that is what an asshole naturally seeks.

Is it too much to ask that you at least be a clever asshole? Apparently so, for Slashdot, as we have only the dense an ill-informed kind here.

Re:Pretty Graphs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33616310)

{ironic statement}Is it too much to ask that you at least be a clever asshole? Apparently so, for Slashdot, as we have only the dense an ill-informed kind here.{/ironic statement}

And you sir, are living proof!

Re:Pretty Graphs (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 4 years ago | (#33616050)

animated, rather than static, graphs.

You are missing out... it's a reasonable way to display 3-or-4-D data sets.

Re:what's the point? (1)

Xtravar (725372) | about 4 years ago | (#33617464)

The same bosses demand iPads and iPhones. Then they demand the websites work in a Steve Jobs approved way.

Re:what's the point? (2, Funny)

omnichad (1198475) | about 4 years ago | (#33614826)

So what - we're just Tweeting in posts now? I don't understand.

Re:what's the point? (1)

Push Latency (930039) | about 4 years ago | (#33614938)

Naw - he's just being all 1337 and using the ampersand instead of the word "at" (_much_ hipper!), and probably telling him to join those two IRC channels for assistance, though he forgot to note the server. Talk about IT fail(ure)!

Re:what's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33615084)

Ampersand: &
Not an ampersand: @

Re:what's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33615136)

pathetic twit troll is pathetic

Re:what's the point? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 4 years ago | (#33617746)

I suspect that there are many more intranet apps relying on ActiveX than there are those relying on Flash, so only adding the latter would do little in terms of "enterprise" usability.

You want the real solution? (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33614550)

If Flash matters to you, don't buy the iPad, and send Apple a respectful e-mail saying that you require Flash support in a tablet device if you are to buy it. That is the real solution. If sales suffer because of the lack of Flash, and they are aware of it, then it is likely they'll rectify the problem. If not, someone else will.

However if you get all caught up in Shiny New Toy Syndrome and rush out to buy it, no matter how bad a fit for your use it is, don't go and cry about it later. All that tells companies is that you don't really care about what you say you do, they can produce whatever they like with whatever restrictions they like and you'll buy it so long as it is cool.

I just don't understand all the crying about Flash on Apple devices. If it doesn't matter to you, then great, buy their device, be happy and so on. If it does matter, then do not buy their device, let them know that this is a requirement before you make a purchase, and go on with your life.

However don't buy the device because it is cool, without researching it, and then cry because it won't do what you want.

Re:You want the real solution? (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | about 4 years ago | (#33614644)

Seems to be a common thing with people who buy Apple, they buy it and expect the feature to be added instead of being happy with what it does at time of purchase.

Nobody else seems to suffer this annoyance.

Who cares about flash games, plenty of decent native apps for iOS. The people moaning about flash are wanting to stream porn on the phone.

Re:You want the real solution? (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 4 years ago | (#33614678)

"The people moaning about flash are wanting to stream porn on the phone."

Or they're wanting to use web business apps, google visualization systems, sales force, etc. You know, big boy toys.

Re:You want the real solution? (1)

seanonymous (964897) | about 4 years ago | (#33614750)

You need to recognize Sour Grapes when you see it. Cleary gilesjuk has a iOS device and is in denial.

Which is totally fine (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33614752)

Actually either way is totally fine. There's nothing wrong with buying a tablet as a toy and being happy with the apps in the store. There's also nothing wrong with wanting it as a professional device, and demanding that it works with all your sites/software and refusing to buy it if it doesn't meet your needs. The problem is people who want to buy it because it is a shiny toy, and then cry because it isn't what they wanted. Don't buy it then.

This is particularly true given the price. When you are talking something that is $500-900 depending on options, that is a purchase you don't rush in to. You take a little time to do some research and make sure it meets your needs. If it doesn't well then give it a miss. Don't just rush headlong in to buying it and then sniffle because it isn't what you wanted. That does nothing but teach companies to ignore you.

Re:You want the real solution? (1)

StuartHankins (1020819) | about 4 years ago | (#33614776)

+1 Insightful. Thanks for "getting it". My sentiments exactly.

We're done here. Close the thread. (1)

tacokill (531275) | about 4 years ago | (#33614838)

I think that pretty much sums things up.

Re:You want the real solution? (0, Flamebait)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 4 years ago | (#33614966)

I just don't understand all the crying about Flash on Apple devices. If it doesn't matter to you, then great, buy their device, be happy and so on. If it does matter, then do not buy their device, let them know that this is a requirement before you make a purchase, and go on with your life./quote.

And if Flash doesn't matter and you're not going to buy an Apple product anyway, bitch on Slashdot about it so we can circulate mod points!

Why not the other way? (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 4 years ago | (#33614974)

If Flash matters to you, don't buy the iPad, and send Apple a respectful e-mail saying that you require Flash support in a tablet device if you are to buy it.

I hated Flash before it was seemingly cool to like it again.

So I'll advise anyone who has had a multi-year dislike of Flash, from the CPU-sucking browser crashing video playback, to the headache inducing animated ads, to the flash overlays that perch atop the real content - to those people, email other device makers and ask them why on earth they are even considering making a device that supports Flash.

The more device makers that don't support Flash, the sooner it will go away. Don't add it just to have one more item on the checklist than the other guy, is what I would say to these device makers...

That's fine too (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33615236)

I'm ok with whatever people want. Devices, like computers and tablets, are just tools to be used to accomplish the job you want. What that job is will differ person to person. So if you have no use for Flash, then getting a device that doesn't support it makes sense. However some people do have a use for Flash. For them it does not make sense to get it, and then complain about it.

My objection is just to people who buy devices and then bitch that they aren't what they want. This seems to happen more often with Apple devices because Apple is "cool" to own. A large number of people bought the iPad with no research, no consideration if a tablet was actually of use to the sort of work/play they do, just because it was a "hip" gadget to have. Then they get angry because it doesn't support what they want. Well that annoys me. Make informed purchase decisions, research a devices limitations and decide if they are ok for you. Don't buy it, and then cry, particularly with a company like Apple was is well know for dictating how a user's experience is to be.

Re:Why not the other way? (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | about 4 years ago | (#33620602)

The problem is, there is so much Flash content, especially in the area of entertainment, that throwing it away just like that means you throw away all that entertainment. Sure, it probably doesn't matter to everyone, but there are some online cartoons, animations and sometimes even games that require Flash that I'd love to be able to play on , which I may or may not own.

Of course, you could also limit it to just being a desktop application. But it's still inconvenient especially because some entire websites actually use it for their entire site too (yeah, that's bad, but it happens).

Re:You want the real solution? (4, Insightful)

farnsworth (558449) | about 4 years ago | (#33614996)

If Flash matters to you, don't buy the iPad

I don't know anyone who has an iOS device that complains about lack of Flash. I know dozens upon dozens of people with iOS devices, some for years now.

It seems like most of the bitching about Flash comes from Flash developers who won't or can't port to Cocoa Touch or HTML 5. Which is fine by me, they are complaining about a vendor making a somewhat arbitrary technical decision that impacts their careers. I'd be pissed too if a large portion of my market was obviated practically overnight.

Re:You want the real solution? (2)

codepunk (167897) | about 4 years ago | (#33615604)

Exactly I have no desire for flash on my device, I have more friends than I can count that own iphones and not a single one has ever said a peep about flash missing from the device. In fact as a developer I am happy with Apple making it just as difficult as possible for flash to work on the device.

Re:You want the real solution? (1)

catmistake (814204) | about 4 years ago | (#33615048)

Or even better... if flash is so damn important, why doesn't Adobe, or someone, make a Flash machine? i.e., a computer or tablet, that ONLY does flash... no JavaScript, no H.264, no HTML, or Ajax, no C# or DoTNET, no ObjC, and no text... jut a flash interface, connects directly over the Internet to all the flash you can eat. Why not? I really wish someone would release some such thing... then Adobe could pull Apple or Microsoft's game and only let flash be accessed through said device... and then the rest of us could have back that part of our brain dedicated to ignoring and avoiding all things flash, because as much as flash consumers insist that they want or need it, we HATE it ten times as much! Boo flash! Yea just about every other technology (yes, even Java is more tolerable than flash).

Re:You want the real solution? (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | about 4 years ago | (#33620724)

no JavaScript, no H.264

Without those you have an incomplete implementation of Flash, because Flash uses those (well, technically a variation of ECMAScript, but it's very similar anyway).

Re:You want the real solution? (1)

catmistake (814204) | about 4 years ago | (#33622822)

no JavaScript, no H.264

Without those you have an incomplete implementation of Flash, because Flash uses those (well, technically a variation of ECMAScript, but it's very similar anyway).

As long as it's in the flash wrapper... don't care. Point is it's a thing that does nothing without the flash wrapper. Get it? Adobe would like nothing more than to wrap the whole of the internet in flash. So let them, in their own machine. Just keep it the hell away from my browser.

Re:You want the real solution? (1)

morari (1080535) | about 4 years ago | (#33615078)

However if you get all caught up in Shiny New Toy Syndrome and rush out to buy it, no matter how bad a fit for your use it is, don't go and cry about it later. All that tells companies is that you don't really care about what you say you do, they can produce whatever they like with whatever restrictions they like and you'll buy it so long as it is cool.

Doesn't this describe the Apple user base as a whole?

Re:You want the real solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33615204)

Amen! Well said!

Re:You want the real solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33615842)

That's wrong, and you've got the reason why right in your post.

People buy things because they're cool. If people buy cool things and then bitch about them -- for whatever reason -- then that erodes & can even reverse the cool hype that sells the product.

And Apple's sales are particularly reliant on cool hype.

Re:You want the real solution? (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 4 years ago | (#33616364)

I just don't understand all the crying about Flash on Apple devices. If it doesn't matter to you, then great, buy their device, be happy and so on. If it does matter, then do not buy their device, let them know that this is a requirement before you make a purchase, and go on with your life.

I think it's a simple tit-for-tat response to all the conspicuous joy about those Apple devices. It's ok for Apple fanbois to buy iPads, but they don't need to relentlessly tell everyone about it. If it matters to them, they should buy the device and use it, and go on with their lives. Those for whom it doesn't matter don't want to hear about it.

Re:You want the real solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33616576)

Person 1: Hrm, no flash. Okay, I'll buy a [brand x] tablet instead. Also, 'Dear Apple...'.
Person 2: Hrm, no flash. Okay, I'll buy a [brand x] tablet instead. Also, 'Dear Apple...'.
... 2 weeks later ...
Person 10000: Hrm, no flash. Okay, I'll buy a [brand x] tablet instead. Also, 'Dear Apple...'.
Apple: Hrm, people really want flash. Well, okay. Unblock the flash player!
Person 1 to 10000 (simultaneously): D*** IT! I just bought another tablet I didn't really want!

Great advice for creating a mass face-palm.

Re:You want the real solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33617730)

Is it okay if I buy an iPad to show Apple that I never want Flash on it?

I see a trend here... (2, Insightful)

Deathnerd (1734374) | about 4 years ago | (#33614584)

First came OnLive and now this. I see thin clients becoming a common solution to many graphical/computational intensive applications in the future.

Re:I see a trend here... (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33614684)

I see thin clients becoming a common solution to many graphical/computational intensive applications in the future.

I see the future not coming any time soon, at least until mobile Internet access plans in the United States become much cheaper. At least thick clients can work in environments that connect to the Internet only intermittently.

Is it necessary? (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | about 4 years ago | (#33614670)


I may be in the minority, but I really don't notice the lack of flash on our iPad (or iPhones). It seems like this stuff is a solution in search of a real problem.

Re:Is it necessary? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33614706)

I really don't notice the lack of flash on our iPad (or iPhones).

Notice that you can't play anything on Newgrounds.com.

Re:Is it necessary? (1)

grub (11606) | about 4 years ago | (#33614716)

I don't know that I've ever gone there.

Like I said, I may be in the minority but Flash isn't missed. Double that for the Flash ads.

Restaurants (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 4 years ago | (#33614770)

Same here, with one exception -- restaurant websites tend to use Flash.

Of course if I can't find the info I'm looking for then I'm not going to waste my time on the place, so it's not my loss.

Re:Is it necessary? (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | about 4 years ago | (#33614870)

It seems like this stuff is a solution in search of a real problem.

Totally. I say that every time I see a commercial for diabetes related materials. I mean I don't have diabetes. Seems like their insulin is a solution in search of a problem.

Re:Is it necessary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33615260)

Without Flash millions of people would die? I think you overestimate the value of it.

Re:Is it necessary? (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | about 4 years ago | (#33615486)

Not necessary, but nice to have. I've only used flash maybe half a dozen times in the several months since I've had it on my phone. But those half a dozen times, it was really nice to have the option.

Re:Is it necessary? (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | about 4 years ago | (#33620742)

It seems like this stuff is a solution in search of a real problem.

If it wasn't a problem to at least some people, this wouldn't exist.

meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33614672)

Those of us who bought devices which belong to us after purchase don't have this problem.

Of course, flash sucks 98 % of the time, but it's still sometimes useful and even nice to have. Point is, the choice of what software to run after I purchase the device should be mine, not the vendors.

Stop buying shiny cages, and this won't be a problem any more.

Re:meanwhile... (1)

rjstanford (69735) | about 4 years ago | (#33632142)

And the day that an enlightened populace doesn't blame the vendor for the poor performance of their device when viewing sites crafted using a particular technology, they will.

Remember how everybody blamed MSFT when Windows 95 broke existing programs written by fans of Petzold's Undocumented Windows? Same problem, different words, except that Apple went the other way preemptively this time.

Did we just go backwards? (1)

iONiUM (530420) | about 4 years ago | (#33614756)

Remember the days when mobile phones couldn't render full web pages, and we used Opera Mobile which rendered it on their servers and streamed an image back?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is exactly the same, isn't it? That's awesome. And sad.

Going in circles (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 4 years ago | (#33614800)

Technology always goes in circles. Just look at how "cloud computing" is being touted as a big deal now, but it was the norm up until the personal computing came along.

Perhaps geeks simply enjoy reinventing the wheel.

Re:Going in circles (3, Interesting)

cdrguru (88047) | about 4 years ago | (#33614880)

When the following generation looks at the folks that came before and sneers that they are old, outmoded and do not have the necessary mental capacity to understand the "new way" re-inventing the wheel is a sad but necessary part of the process.

Most of what is considered to be recent developments in computer science has foundations if not actual implementations in the years before 1970. It may be in a different context, but the same problems have been solved, and are being solved again.

I don't think it is a choice - it is absolutely necessary for people to re-invent the wheel every few years. It is either that or slide backwards as old methods that work are discarded. We are either going to replace them (usually with the same old methods, eventually) or give up and accept less.

Re:Going in circles (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | about 4 years ago | (#33615050)

Geeks enjoy reinventing the wheel. Marketers enjoy telling lies about how "New and improved!!!1" it is.

It will not be accepted (1)

koro666 (947362) | about 4 years ago | (#33614794)

That application will not pass the approval process because it downloads stuff and runs it... quite against the requirements for apps, if I recall.

Re:It will not be accepted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33615324)

That application will not pass the approval process because it downloads stuff and runs it... quite against the requirements for apps, if I recall.

Bzzzzzzzt, it's on the app store for downloa right now.

Re:It will not be accepted (1)

koro666 (947362) | about 4 years ago | (#33615696)

Damn. I really should have read TFA before posting.

Use iSwifter to build a sandboxed client side plat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33614872)

I'm going to use iSwifter and build a protocol within it to create a sandboxed client side platform. That will get all the load off of the iSwifter servers and make it scale better.

Remote rendered flash for games? (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | about 4 years ago | (#33614900)

I'd think the latency would destroy any usability on anything but farmville type games?

problemo? (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 4 years ago | (#33614922)

Peter Smith is blogging about the free iSwifter app, which aims to solve the 'no Flash games on iPads' problem.

That's a problem?

And yet... (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 4 years ago | (#33614934)

And yet this does nothing to solve the problem that most flash games are designed for a keyboard and mouse interface, not touch.

Re:And yet... (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 4 years ago | (#33615028)

Ok, so I flew off half-cocked before reading the article (as is the /. tradition).

So, they do try to emulate a keyboard/mouse events as part of the conversion process, but it's pretty laggy apparently.

Counterpoint (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | about 4 years ago | (#33614954)

Really, the existence of something like iSwifter is an interesting counterpoint to the article from yesterday about how terrorists are frequently engineers, or rather, it points out that the same isn't true in most cultures.

When someone is willing to gin up a jury-rigged way to play Flash games remotely on an iDevice rather than stick an IED in Steve Jobs' car to solve the same problem, I think that's a pretty good testament to how committed most technically-skilled people are to civilization, and that's a good thing.

Re:Counterpoint (1)

Xtravar (725372) | about 4 years ago | (#33617498)

Counterpoint: Isn't Flash pretty much the equivalent of an IED? Saving it from demise is like breaking Osama bin Laden out of jail.

Swifter (2, Funny)

AigariusDebian (721386) | about 4 years ago | (#33614960)

Swifter, no swifting!!!

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