Friday, June 27, 2014

Puffin- A Flash Enabled Browser for iOS

A few months ago, teachers from a neighboring district visited to observe how a new math curriculum had been adopted by our school. Part of their visit involved meeting with me regarding the technology logistics. When I mentioned my love affair with the iPad despite Apple and Adobe's refusal to play nice, the visiting tech specialist suggested download Puffin Browser for the iPad, and I've been (mostly) in seventh heaven since.

Puffin Browser is available on the App Store and Google Play and even proclaims to be "Wicked Fast" on its homepage. Before discovering Puffin Browser, I had been dreaming up alternate ways to run Flash while on the go; bring the Surface, buy a Chromebook, drag my tablet PC everywhere (imagine that! Remember when having alaptop was conventient!), I even considered purchasing another MacBook Air (but then why have mobile devices?) #firstworldproblems 

While I personally do not experience wicked speed on my iPad 2 64Gb (51.3 G used, plus it takes FOREVER to calculate the number of apps- last check was 200+), I was thrilled to see Flash based websites running in Puffin, namely my major discovery, Coaster Crafter! Consider me a satisfied customer, for the time being...

Now that I've begun to rely on Puffin Browser more (and have dropped the idea of carrying multiple devices for complete mobile functionality), I am realizing some features that are missing. 

I am taking an Intro to Scratch course through the University of Northern Iowa. Puffin can run Scratch projects beautifully, and you can drag and drop command blocks without issues. However, if you want to change a variable in any of the Scratch blocks, Puffin does not recognize those areas as ones that you would need the keyboard for. Plus, I can't figure out how to exit full screen mode to access my other tabs.

I also preview many web tools for use in the elementary classroom. Recently I was looking at Wideo for students to create book jackets. Wideo would be great (except for its closing credit) in terms of ease of use, on the computer, but in Puffin, once again, I was unable to edit text fields, because it could not detect that I needed a keyboard.

Please comment and share your experiences with Puffin browser. I would really like to love it!

P.S.- since mentioning less than wicked speed, Puffin seems to be running faster on my loaded up iPad.