If you’re using an iPhone and you’re looking for an alternative web browser to the in-built Safari, then you need to try Photon Flash Browser. You will find it handy if you need a browser that supports Flash.
Photon ($3.99) makes the best claim on delivering Flash to the iPhone than any other browser. It does this by streaming a remote desktop session from a computer that runs Flash to your iPhone. Needless to say, this can sometimes be a little slow or cause some user interface weirdness, but overall, it works. If you want to use Photon Flash Browser, simply tap the lightning bolt icon in the bottom right corner of the app to initiate the streaming desktop session. Once you do that, browsing is largely standard.
Unlike many other Flash browsers
(Puffin being an exception), Photon is able to successfully access Hulu, which normally blocks mobile browsers. Over Wi-Fi, in particular, Hulu videos may be a bit pixelated, but they play smoothly and audio stays in sync. This isn’t a desktop Flash experience, but it’s the best so far on the iPhone.
Besides video, the other major thing that people want Flash on the iPhone for is games. Photon was also able to successfully load most Flash games at Kongregate (though the Flash plug-in running on the desktop session did crash once). While the games loaded fine, actually playing them can be a little tricky. For instance, some games require arrow keys to control the action, but since arrow keys don’t exist on the iPhone keyboard, you’re out of luck.
Apart from its Flash support, Photon is a decent, but not the spectacular browser that’s got some good features and some problems. On the positive side, it offers fullscreen and private browsing. On the negative, it lacks the .com button that Safari offers to reduce the number of buttons you have to push when entering new URLs (seems minor, I know, but it makes a difference), can’t open new windows or tabs, and sometimes launches a little slowly.
- It’s fast.
- Solid Flash support.
- Fullscreen mode.
- A few nagging interface issues.
- Flash playback uses a virtual desktop, which can cause some problems.
Many browsers claim to offer Flash playback–something normally impossible on the iPhone and other iOS devices–but many of them do so with substantial drawbacks or incompatibilities. While it’s not perfect, Photon offers the best Flash playback option on the iPhone. It may not be good enough for full-time use, but it should suffice for light use.
An iPhone 3GS or higher, 3rd Generation iPod touch or higher, or iPad running iPhone OS 4.2 or later.