Apple’s iOS mobile operating system and Adobe Flash don’t play well together.
Apple has never supported Adobe’s web animation software for a number of reasons, the most often cited being a drain on battery life in iPhones and iPads. But regardless of either technical reasons or bad blood between the two tech companies, the effect is that iOS device users haven’t really ever been able to access websites using Flash, except when using third-party browser applications.
But there’s a new solution for iOS fans who wish they had Flash access: OnLive Desktop. The streaming app for the iPad supports subscriptions that allow users to access Flash to their devices for a rate of $5 per month.
It’s actually a subscription plan for the app called Onlive Desktop Plus, which users can get for their monthly $5. With it, they can access PC software, giving full control of Windows 7 on the iPad. Along with it comes the ability to use the iPad to access lots of other kinds of software, including Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Internet Explorer. And with the ability to stream Explorer comes the ability to use Flash.
There’s already a free version of OnLive Desktop, but it’s slightly more limited than the version that comes with the monthly fee. That version still lets you stream software from your computer, but it lacks access to Internet Explorer. As PCWorld reports, there’s also a $10 subscription plan for OnLive Desktop that adds 50 gigabytes of cloud storage space for users; the $5 and free versions offer 2GB of space to all their users.
OnLive Desktop works a lot like OnLive’s streaming game service by allowing users to stream software from OnLive’s servers. That lets the company stream Internet Explorer and Flash at a pretty crazily fast rate of 1GB per second. Lots of tech reviewers are finding the Internet Explorer experience through OnLive to be fast and responsive, making it a viable alternative for PC fans who hate to leave their PC capabilities behind when they pick up an iPad.
Though OnLive Desktop is free, since it’s a streaming service, just how strong the connection is often depends on traffic. If you opt for the paid version, you get a boost – subscribers get priority clearance for accessing the OnLive servers over free users, who have to wait. Either way, you can get started with OnLive Desktop by downloading it from the iTunes App Store, but if you go for the subscription, you’ll have to sign up at onlive.com.