Dear Aunt TUAW,
I keep hearing about applications like Skyfire working on the iPad so we can watch Flash video. But when I hop over to Hulu, it says I have to join Hulu Plus to view videos.
Why does Hulu act like this? What am I doing wrong?
Your nephew Chris W.
Skyfire does indeed offer Flash video support. When it detects embedded video (typically when you browse across a page that has a Flash error message), the application connects to Skyfire's servers to transcode that FLV content so that it'll play on your iPad or other iOS device. Skyfire's Flash support is limited to video; it does not enable Flash games or apps.
Unfortunately, some monetized sites, like Hulu, disable iPad video access through any solution outside of the custom Hulu Plus player. The same content you can watch on your laptop cannot be viewed from your iPad, even with Skyfire's Flash support.
To see what's going on, you need to tap the button at the bottom-right of the Skyfire screen. The button name varies depending on the state of the web page you visit, starting with "analyzing" and ending up with "info" or "video," or similar. Although Skyfire's FAQ page suggests that you need to tap the button to begin analysis, I found that the button automatically started the process upon visiting any new page.
When viewing the Hulu site, tapping this button (labeled "info" on the iPhone, "video info" on the iPad) brought up this information pop-over, making it clear that "Hulu is not making videos available for mobile browsers."
- Key specs
- Form factor Tablet
- Operating system iOS (8)
- Screen size 9.7 inches
- Storage type Internal storage (16 GB, Flash)
- Maximum battery life Up to 10 hours
- Dimensions 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.24 in
- Weight 0.96 lb
- Announced 2014-10-16