Skyfire VideoQ plays Flash videos on your iPhone

A new app from the makers of the Skyfire Web browser offers a fairly easy way to play Flash videos on your iPhone, but it does take a couple of steps.

Skyfire VideoQ ($1.99 for a limited time), a new video app launched this morning from the makers of the Skyfire browser, offers a fairly simple process to play Flash videos on your iOS device. While any added steps are a pain, if you need to watch a Flash video on the iPhone, VideoQ is one of the only options.

Skyfire says it doesn't matter which iOS browser you use. Once you've registered your iPhone's e-mail adress in the VideoQ app, when you find a Flash video that refuses to play in your preferred Web browser, just use the browser's option to Mail Link to this Page and enter video@Skyfire.com. Now, when you open the VideoQ app, the Flash video will be waiting for you to watch in your video queue.

Surprisingly, in our tests, many of the formerly Flash-only sites we tried had already converted videos to work on iPhone (even at Adobe!). We were eventually able to find a site that required Flash (store.steampowered.com), and--using the steps above--were able to get a game preview to play on VideoQ that would not play on Safari for iPhone. The frame rate was somewhat lower than the original, but that is to be expected with a service that converts the video on its servers and sends it back to you.

VideoQ isn't just for converting Flash video links; it also acts as a media hub where you can watch user-discovered videos. You can touch the Hot button at the bottom of the interface to see the most popular user videos, or you can select Channels to browse video by categories including Technology, News, Sports, and Humor. You also have the option to add categories like Anime, Kids, and others. So even if you don't have much luck converting videos (or finding videos to convert), VideoQ offers plenty of content that will only grow once more people sign up.

VideoQ is a universal app available today at the iTunes App Store in the U.S. and Canada for an introductory price of $1.99. Skyfire says it plans to expand to more countries in the coming weeks.

While the number of sites that display Flash-only videos seems to be shrinking everyday, it's great to have the option when Safari or another iOS browser refuses to play a video.

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.

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