How to View Flash on an iPad


In April 2010, Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs published an open letter on the Apple website titled "Thoughts on Flash." In this letter, he discusses Apple's reasons for not including Flash support on the iPad, including its requirement for additional software downloads and lack of stability. Despite this insistence against Flash programming, a few browsers are available in the iTunes App Store that allow you to browse Flash-based websites. For more extensive Flash viewing, you may need to use your iPad in conjunction with a computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer (optional)

In-App Flash

  • Browse the App Store on your iPad for Flash-enabled web browsers. Skyfire and iSwifter both support limited Flash browsing. These apps may cost money, although iSwifter has a limited free version.

  • Download the Flash-supporting browser of your choice and wait for it to install.

  • Launch the browser and navigate to your favorite Flash-based website. Note that some sites can detect that you are on a mobile device and will block Flash streaming.

Remote Flash

  • Browse the iPad App Store for a remote desktop app that is compatible with your computer's operating system (Mac OS X, Windows 7, Windows Vista, etc.). Download and install the app. Options for these apps include Splashtop Remote, Connect My Mac, Connect My PC, PC Connect, LogMeIn Ignition and others. Features, quality and compatibility vary by app.

  • Download the app's companion software on your computer. The app should tell you where to look for this software, or you can look up the app name in your computer's web browser. You may need to configure your router and firewall to allow access from outside your home network.

  • Connect your iPad to a Wi-Fi network either in your home or on a different network.

  • Launch your remote app and connect to your home computer using the app's instructions to make the connection. Many apps will connect automatically when you are on the same network as your computer but may require entering your IP address or other information from remote locations.

  • Control your desktop via your iPad to launch your favorite Flash-based websites or videos. Everything on your desktop or laptop will stream to your iPad, including Flash content.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check for iPad compatible apps for your favorite Flash sites. YouTube and Netflix both have free iPad apps for Flash-free video viewing, and Hulu has Hulu Plus, a subscription service with access to more content than the free website and iPad-compatible format.
  • No method of using Flash on the iPad is guaranteed to work. Purchase any apps claiming to use Flash at your own risk.
  • A 3G connection is unlikely to offer enough bandwidth to support Flash streaming on your iPad.

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  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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