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Whenever someone asks me to recommend an app that supports Flash videos on their iPad, I recommend Puffin Web Browser ($2.99). It’s an attractive and functional app, which is why it has been added to our Best of iPhone Apps page.

If you’re new to Apple’s mobile devices, you might not know there’s no default Flash support on iOS devices. Whenever you try to play a video on your iOS device and it asks you instead to download Adobe Flash Player, then you will need to try Puffin.

There are other good web browsers for the iPhone and iPad, including Atomic Web Atomic Web Browser Brings Advanced Web Browsing To iPhone & iPad Atomic Web Browser Brings Advanced Web Browsing To iPhone & iPad If it were possible, I would make Atomic Web ($0.99) the default web browser for my iPhone and iPad Mini. Atomic Web has already replaced the iOS version of Safari on my homepage, but it... Read More , Dolphine Browser Dolphin: A Smart, Hand Gesturing Mobile Web Browser [iOS + Android] Dolphin: A Smart, Hand Gesturing Mobile Web Browser [iOS + Android] With so many third-party web browsers available for the iPhone and iPad - including Atomic Web, iChromy, Opera Mini, iSwifter, and Dual Browser - one has to wonder what any enterprising developer could possibly come... Read More , and Chrome Google Chrome - A Fantastic Replacement For Mobile Safari [iOS] Google Chrome - A Fantastic Replacement For Mobile Safari [iOS] Do you use Chrome on your computer to browse the web? A lot of people do, as it is one of the most popular web browsers out there. It runs fast, and it offers a... Read More . But CloudMosa’s Puffin Web Browser 3.0, compatible with iOS devices running iOS 5.0 or later, is the only one that downloads and plays Flash videos without lots of hiccups and hanging.

Flash Support

You can test drive Puffin by downloading the free version which puts a two week limitation on Flash Support. You can then visit your favorite flash-only video site to see how Puffin performs. Flash support may not be enabled by default on the app, so if a Flash video doesn’t play, tap on the top-right menu icon, and select Settings > Flash Support.

Puffin settings

For the best viewing of videos, you probably should turn your device to landscape view, and then tap Theatre Mode inside the app menu to view the full screen. Flash content loads very fast and playback is smooth. When the app crashes it will recover your previously opened tabs and ask if you want to re-download them. I’ve tried a few other iOS apps that promise Flash support, but none of them performed as well as Puffin.

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Puffin theatre mode

Notice also (in the first screenshot above) that there are a range interface and other tweaks setting up Puffin the way you want it, such as selecting a different color theme, blocking pop-ups and saving passwords. You can also clear cache, cookies, download history, and clear form data faster in Puffin than in Apple’s Safari.

Home Page & Add-Ons

The Puffin homepage opens with a few bookmarked popular sites, including Facebook, Yahoo!, and Google. The app keeps track of the sites you visit the most, so you can easily tap to them without bringing up the bookmarks page. You can also change the wallpaper on the homepage of the app as well by tapping on the blue Settings button.

Puffin wallpaper

There are also add-ons for sharing pages to social networks, including Pocket Pocket - The Ultimate Digital Bookmarking Service Pocket - The Ultimate Digital Bookmarking Service As Bakari previously reported, the well loved Read It Later - which enabled users to save articles to read later from a bookmarklet or various apps it was integrated with - was discontinued and replaced... Read More and Readability The New Readability Addon Converts Pages To Read-Friendly Format The New Readability Addon Converts Pages To Read-Friendly Format Read More . For game sites where you’re doing lots of tapping, Puffin includes a built-in virtual trackpad for faster and more precision tapping, and a Gamepad with cross pad controls. As you will see, Puffin keeps most all of the app features tucked away inside the sliding side menubar (accessed by dragging your finger from either the left and right edge of the screen) so there’s less distraction with visible buttons.

Puffin gampad

Other Features

While Puffin doesn’t have the iCloud support you get for sharing bookmarks across your iOS and Mac devices, you can export opened tabs and import them to your other iOS device. Unfortunately, however, adding bookmarks is a three-tap process (tap menu icon > Bookmarks > Add Bookmark). Your saved bookmarks though can easily be accessed by tapping the bookmarks button from any webpage.

Puffin bookmarks

Not having the bookmarks and tabs visible at the top of the homepage provides more screen real estate for viewing webpage content. Puffin also supports downloading files to your Dropbox, as well as to the iOS Camera Roll.

There are few limitations to Puffin that are listed on the app’s iTunes page. The browser can only access public web sites from US geolocations, and due to Internet censorship, Puffin Browser service is blocked in China and Saudi Arabia.

Worth the Upgrade

Even if you don’t use Puffin for watching lots of videos, the paid version of Puffin is still worth the download as a fast, clean and in many cases a faster alternative to Safari. You can also use the app to support additional favorite websites. Puffin is also available for Android devices, in addition to free Academy versions for K-12 schools.

Let us know what you think of this web browser and how it performs for you.

Download: Puffin ($2.99, universal app) / Puffin Free

  1. rudebr
    October 9, 2015 at 7:19 am

    Hi I have an I-Phone 5 and second Gen i-Pat that I use Puffin.

    The question I have is how can I use my video cam as a web cam?

    When the window comes up allowing me to broadcast, the only option in selecting a camera is the "Puffin Web Camera" which does not connect.

  2. Waleed Abdel Moneim
    September 20, 2015 at 8:51 am

    I already had a .swf file in my device IPad and want to run it using the Puffin Browser but I don't know how to upload it ?

  3. Subcrew
    April 7, 2015 at 1:37 am

    Hi!
    I just bought the full version of puffin and I found out this apps is pretty fast while you are on pages loaded with adobe flash, but the bad news is it killing your data quota very fast...please advice...thank you!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      April 7, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      Subcrew, sorry to hear the bad news. Unfortunately I can't advise on the problem you're having. Try to contact the developers to see what they say. Thanks for your feedback.

  4. Saf
    February 21, 2014 at 4:50 am

    If I want to download vedio from puffin what shal I do

    • Bakari Chavanu
      February 21, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      If you mean download a video from a website in Puffin, I think you can long press on the video and it will give you the option to download—that is, if the video is downloadable.

  5. jakson0100
    February 11, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Surfing the net I found a tutorial here http://www.smartphonesupdates.com/how-to-install-adobe-flash-player-on-iphone5/ in which it is told that flash player can be installed on jailbreak iPhone 5 and the jailbroken device will be compatible with Adobe Flash. Is it fact or just a scam ???.. Please only experts reply .

  6. Bakari Chavanu
    January 15, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Bunnie, the description on the Puffin page in the iTunes Store indicates that it will work on all versions of the iPad, but I have not tested it specifically on the iPad 2. If the free version of Puffin worked on your iPad 2, then the full version should also work.

    The paid version of the app will provide unlimited access to viewing Flash videos and you don't have to pay separately, unless I a website requires payment for viewing its videos.

  7. Bunnie
    January 15, 2014 at 5:21 am

    Right now I have the free version of Puffin and I really like it. Flash is now asking for payment to view videos. Will the paid version of Puffin cause problems on the iPad 2? Also, will Flash be free or do you have to pay separately for it?

  8. Fahfoofnik
    November 7, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    You forgot about the Skyfire browser. I've been using it on the iPad for a few years now, it streams Flash video quite well.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      November 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm

      Hi Fahfoofnik, thanks for letting us know about Skyfire. I'll check it out. After I started using Puffin and haven't really looked for other alternative browsers. Thanks for sharing.

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