OnLive may have solved the problem of Flash on the iPad. Apple’s iOS, a platform that had never supported Flash on its native web browser, may turn out to be the best mobile platform yet to surf websites with Flash contents (for now, at least). How is that possible? By running Windows and Internet Explorer 9 on the iPad, with a super fast Gigabit Internet connection.
It indeed sounds wrong to have the iPad, Windows, and Internet Explorer in the same sentence, but that is exactly what OnLive’s latest offering is all about. For a fee of $5 per month, users of OnLive Desktop Plus can stream a copy of Windows 7 from OnLive’s server, including 2GB of storage along with several essential Windows software, including the entire Microsoft Office suite and Internet Explorer 9.
Internet Explorer 9 may or may not be your favorite browser on your primary computer, but on the iPad, it’s a fully capable one that can run HTML 5 and Flash contents. And did I mention about the Gigabit-speed browsing already?
Truth to be told, OnLive Desktop is not all that revolutionary, considering you could easily stream Windows or Mac OS from your own computer through several readily available remote control apps in the App Store. The revolutionary part, apart from not having to maintain Windows on your own, is the Gigabit-speed browsing.
It could be hard to grasp initially. How could you browse at such high-speeds when your iPad’s Internet connection is hardly a fraction of that? The trick is you are only seeing a video stream from OnLive on your iPad. All the data and contents are downloaded to OnLive’s server, using OnLive’s Internet connection instead of yours. As long as your connection is fast and stable enough for a flawless video stream, you can browse at Gigabit-speed.
That alone is worth the $5 per month charge in my opinion. You are already paying a much higher fee for your home or mobile Internet connection after all, so why not give it a little (or a lot) of a boost for a small fee? That, paired with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse (only for jailbroken iPads though), could result in a fully functional Windows 7 computer with a blazing fast Internet connection on your modest iPad. Sounds too good to be true, no?
The only downside, on paper at least, as I have not personally tested the app in a real working environment, is that you are not allowed to install any other software aside from the provided select few. That may change when the company releases its upcoming Onlive Desktop Pro and OnLive Enterprise, but you definitely have to fork out more money for that.
Also, if you have an Android tablet, get it ready already as the company plans to bring the service to the Android platform too. That will be the time to unleash the full potential of your 4G connection.