Photon, A Browser with FlashPlayer for iOS

If there’s been one knock against the Apple iOS system, it’s the inability to access FlashPlayer content. It’s become a very integral part of using the Internet. Everyone has given up on Adobe and Apple working out their differences to get something worked out, even with Steve Jobs’ death. This means we have to stop waiting for it and just move past it to look for other solutions.

Occasionally, the need for FlashPlayer pops up in other situations, but most of the time I’m exasperated and wishing I could use FlashPlayer when I’m using a browser. Safari just puts up a nice little sign to tell us we need to have Adobe FlashPlayer installed if we want to view the content. It’s not really helpful. For these instances, the Photon browser works to bridge that gap.


Navigating to a website, I got that familiar screen telling me to view it with FlashPlayer. It’s almost a little like pouring salt in a wound, as if I could, I obviously would. Nevertheless, it’s what needs to be done. But instead of installing FlashPlayer, which simply cannot be done in iOS, I launch the Photon browser.


I navigate to the same website, then push the lightning bolt icon in the toolbar. It gives me a message stating that it’s connecting to a streaming session. Photon works by streaming the site from the cloud.


Once Photon finishes streaming the site, I can now use it along with all of its FlashPlayer abilities. Using the keyboard takes pressing the keyboard icon in the menu. There also other menu options to help with more precise finger movements like dragging and clicking, especially useful when playing games.


The settings menu includes many more options. The makers of the app suggest you play with the bandwidth option to get the desired outcome. The bandwidth is automatically set very low, but it can be raised to match how fast your network is. Other settings include many of the options included with any other browser, as well as alternate port, enable popup, and switching to a game keyboard.


Photon isn’t just just for browsing sites with FlashPlayer though. It can also do split screen browsing. You can have two screens going in a split, do a picture-in-picture, or even a trio of screens. It comes in handy for a variety of reasons, whether watching a music video on one screen and doing work on another, looking at separate sites or the same site at different times, or even watching two YouTube videos. This is accessed on the left-hand side of the URL window.

While Safari is good for many things, it’s just not a good browser for everything. Photon isn’t good for everything either. That means it takes a collection of browsers to get things accomplished in iOS, whether on an iPhone, an iPad, or an iPod Touch. If you have a need for watching multiple screens in a browser, or if you have to use sites with FlashPlayer, this is a browser you’ll want to have in your arsenal.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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