Smokescreen Renders Flash in JavaScript

One of the major flaws with the iPad (and the iPhone) is the lack of Flash support. We've heard all about Apple and Adobe's differences of opinion, but that doesn't change the fact that iPad/iPhone users are kind of screwed when it comes to websites that use Flash. However, a little something called Smokescreen may be the answer to iPad owners' prayers.

A mobile advertising company upset by the omission of Flash created a JavaScript library that makes Flash advertisements viewable on devices that do not support the format. Smokescreen renders Flash into JavaScript and HTML5 within the browser if a device can't read Flash.

While it's an exciting development, PC World cites Simon Willison, co-creator of Django, a framework for building Web applications in the Python language, who says there could be some problems when it comes to performance.

"My one concern is performance," said Wilson. "The library is 175 KB and over 8,000 lines of JavaScript which might cause problems on low-powered mobile devices."

Indeed, the folks behind Smokescreen admitted that right now, Smokescreen is slower than the Flash plugin and is limited by the performance of the browser. The team plans to boost performance in the future but in the mean time, we're warned that some demos won't run at acceptable speeds on iPads and iPhones.

Check out the demos on the Smokescreen website. There's a whole bunch of demos showing Flash ads in Smokescreen (them being a mobile ad company, that makes sense) but there's a few really great Strong Bad emails too.

If you have any questions about your iPad, be sure to check out Computing.Net's iPad/iPhone/iPod forum!

Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.

  • sliem
    don't try to fix the fubared device. it's fubared.
  • blue shift
    As much as I hate apple... With the Opera browser app's Javascript engine, this might be usable.
  • nforce4max
    I can hear the cheering squeals of the Mac nut crowd about this. One hole on a sinking ship patched and many more to go.
  • sidran32
    This is actually pretty dang awesome.

    Ran the SBEmail demo and it worked great on my current install of Firefox and Chrome.

    I'd love to be able to ditch the plugin eventually, if we can get it all with Javascript + HTML5.
  • shin0bi272
    Hey innovation... I found it!
  • matt314
    That's perfect! The performance is worst and will drain battery life even more than regular Flash, and so Ego Jobs will have a hard refusing a better flash plugin!
  • Dyseman
    But Can it play Farmville?

    /ducks and runs for cover
  • wotan31
    sliemdon't try to fix the fubared device. it's fubared.Apparently you haven't tried Windows Mobile yet. Windows Mobile brings new definition to the word FUBAR. Now Android on the other hand, is one tasty delicious mobile platform.
  • weilin
    Tomorrow's Headline: Apple Disables Javascript on iPad/iPhone devices
  • Clintonio
    Try an on-live esque replacement with JS? It'd be better on mobile devices than flash AND this.