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Rover – An Awesome iPad Flash Browser (sort of)

One of the great things about the iPad is that teachers and kids have anywhere / anytime access. Both teachers and kids can use the iPad to create and access useful learning materials. And with thousands of educational apps designed specifically for the iPad, learning begins to look very different than it used to look.


One of the major iPad problems for educators is that the operating system does not support the use of Flash. Teachers, especially elementary teachers, have always been huge users of sites that require Flash. These sites often feature simulations, online games and video clips. So while there have been benefits to using iPads, teachers have had to modify some lesson plans because their iPads lacked Flash compatibility.


Now there’s hope. iSwifter (an iPad app that allows developers to stream flash games tp mobile devices) has partnered with Discovery, FunBrain and others to offer a new Flash-friendly browser. Called Rover, this new browser allows you to now develop and adapt lesson plans that use both Flash and non-Flash based content on the iPad.

The app claims to be compliant with educational firewalls which has been a problem with other iPad browsers. Sites like and get blocked by Rover. YouTube works great but only accesses education-related channels.

The best part of the browser is that Rover‘s first screen opens up to three featured partner sites and over 40 other Flash-based sites, including BrainPop, that work great. Discovery Education has  also begun using Rover to deliver Flash-based learning apps, lesson plans and materials that enable teachers and students to move beyond the traditional textbook.

I did experience the occasional app crash with Rover and, every once in a while, I couldn’t get the sound to work so it’s not completely awesome. But overall, it’s the first browser that actually delivers Flash content consistently. And the best part?

It’s free.

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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Gayle #

    I was talking about this flash issue with a friend of mine. He says he uses skyfire. Do you know much about it? Is Rove better?

    December 20, 2011
  2. I used SkyFire but it didn’t do a thing like show a flash file, so, I deleted it. Maybe Rover could be better.

    December 26, 2011
  3. Ann #

    this app does not work at all!
    I’m so frustrated.

    January 18, 2012
    • glennw #

      It does some great stuff but you’re right, it’s not a silver bullet that solves every problem.


      January 19, 2012
  4. chipp #

    We have discovered that it circumvents our filter and allows access to porn and other elicit sites. It seems to be running on a proxy server. We currently have banned it from our district.

    February 10, 2012
    • Infernova #

      The app can work with Flash content because of the proxy server. The server on the ‘other side’ decodes the flash content and sends it back to the iPad, essentially working like a proxy. Sadly, it also means it bypasses some internet filters.

      May 17, 2012
  5. This app is one of the worst possible things you could install on iPads if they are being used at a school, and if you want to know why, just watch my video explanation/review at:

    But the gist is this: ANY app that accesses Flash on an iPad is simply a cloud browser; ie. it connects to a server that sends you a large streaming video feed of what that computer is doing.

    Doing this is going to KILL your bandwidth and internet capabilities at your school.

    The real question I have is this: why do so many schools/teachers insist on using iPads when they cost MORE than other tablets and yet DON’T ACCESS FLASH and Flash is used on the VAST MAJORITY of educational websites?? It makes no sense to me at all why people insist on paying more to be able to do less. As a teacher (like I am), brand loyalty shouldn’t come into it — your loyalty should be to your students and what is best for them… not to Apple.

    July 7, 2012

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