You just found out about this awesome new game and you’re ready to sit down on a Saturday afternoon to dig in to this new game. Just as you load it up, you get a message that Silverlight for iPad is not installed and you must install Silverlight in order to play the game. Well that puts a hamper on things and now you’re stuck figuring out how to get the game work.
This is a common occurrence when you’re streaming videos or playing games on your iPad. Unfortunately, the creators of iPad decided not to include Silverlight or Adobe Flash in their platform as they realized both are big CPU hogs and tend to crash your browser frequently.
Luckily for you, I’ll provide several great solutions to running Silverlight on your iPad and iPhone and tips to make the experience even better. Despite Apple’s reluctance to use a hugely popular software, sometimes it’s necessary to create work arounds that will give us access to the content we want to see.
“Today knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement.” – Peter Drucker
What is Silverlight for iPad?
Silverlight is a framework for rich internet applications that is similar to Adobe Flash but developed by Microsoft. The focus of Silverlight is to provide the ability to stream media, both video and audio, as well as graphics and games. You often times need the platform to continue running a game or a video that is built on the Silverlight platform and therefore requires it to run. The best part about the platform is it’s completely free and requires no registration to setup. Therefore, anyone can use it and easily without much initial work.
In 2012 Microsoft announced that it will no longer be developing and supporting Silverlight and that it will transition into a depreciated platform. Microsoft no longer develops the software beyond simple bug fixes and patches from issues that are brought up on the current version. Microsoft has announced that the end of all Silverlight support will be in 2021 where the software will be fully depreciated. With the depreciation, Microsoft has announced they will be transitioning to using HTML5 solely for video.
You will notice that a few video streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Video still use Silverlight to power much of their video streaming. That may, in fact, be why you landed on this page when you tried to stream a Netflix movie on your iPad and realized that it kept asking for Silverlight to be installed.
Partially since Silverlight is a depreciating software, Apple decided to not support it for their iPad, however, we want to be able to run Silverlight videos during the transition away from the software and that’s where I come in. I’ll provide a few tips and tricks to get you over that incompatibility.
How To Get Silverlight For iPad
There are three options you have to run and use Silverlight on iPad and I’ll run through the pros and cons of both options along with any tips that I have run into to get the software to run a bit faster and more efficient. Neither option is a completely great option, however, you’ll have to realize that since Silverlight is depreciated, Microsoft never developed an iPad ready version of the software and thus there aren’t many options to work with.
I will try to continue to update this post as different options become available, however, my guess is that software developers will be putting their time and effort into alternative options and not really working on solving this dilemma.
For transparency, there is no way to install the actual Silverlight software on your iPad as it hasn’t been developed. Therefore, the strategies below simply work around this and utilize the software running on either your computer or a remote central computer.
Option 1: ABYTY For iPad
The first option I recommend using is ABYTY. This site will bring up a web browser and that web browser will be compatible with Silverlight. Basically, the web browser will take all of your requests and process them through a computer that is running Silverlight and then transfer it back to your iPad. It’s similar to a VPN in that you’re running the actual Silverlight software on a different computer that your iPad is connected to.
To use ABYTY, follow the steps below:
- Head over to ABYTY.com on your iPad and you’ll see a screen similar to the image above
- Tap anywhere on the image to bring up the browser
- From there, you’ll see a browser url at the bottom where you can navigate to the actual web page that you’re interested in running. It may be good to have it saved on your iPad beforehand.
- You’ll then notice the webpage appear with the full Silverlight functionality and you can use it as you’d like.
NOTE: ABYTY is VERY slow and I wouldn’t recommend relying on it for regular use. This is a good option if you’re in a pinch and you need to access a site with Silverlight right away and don’t want to waste time. Therefore, use this option for 1 off needs but if you need to use it often I would recommend the second option as it’s much faster and stable.
Option 2: Splashtop for iPad
The second recommended software and option is to use Splashtop for your Silverlight needs. This option is similar to the one above but instead of connecting to a generic CPU that is hosted by a 3rd party, you connect to your personal computer.
For this option to work, you must have Splashtop installed both on your iPad and your PC or Mac. Basically, this allows your iPad to connect directly to your computer and control your computer via your iPad. Therefore, you can navigate to your computers web browser via your iPad and go to a Silverlight webpage as if you were on your Mac or PC.
To get the software setup you simply can follow these steps:
- Head over to the app store on your iPad and download Splashtop. Then do the same on your PC or Mac so that you have the software on both devices. Note it costs $4.99 to buy the Splashtop app for your iPad. However, it’s completely free for your computer so you’ll only have to pay the iPad cost.
- Next, you’ll want to install and setup Splashtop onto both devices. If you’re on the same network you can setup the software to run on the same network. Alternatively, you can use it so that you’re on different WiFi networks.
- Head over to your Mac or PC and setup a web browser along with the Splashtop service and allow your iPad to connect to your computer.
- Then, on your iPad open the Splashtop app and use it to connect to your computer. Navigate to the page you want to use Silverlight on and you’re all setup!
Keep in mind that this option does require a bit more setup and an initial fee. However, you’ll find it’s a lot more functional and will allow you to access Silverlight regularly on your iPad or iPhone if it’s a common need. Depending on your personal preference and what your needs are, I would recommend either option 1 or option 2 above. However, if you want to have a completely free remote desktop solution, try the third option below!
Option 3: Microsoft Remote Desktop
The last option I recommend is a free version and a similar setup to the Splashtop setup in option 2. Of course, this is only a great option if you use a PC and want to view webpages on your Windows computer.
Of course this is a great option if you want to access your Windows machine as it’s made perfectly for it and I would recommend this if you are a PC user. To get it all setup and up and running you can follow the steps below.
- Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop app on your iPad and setup the app.
- Head over to your Windows computer and setup your computer to allow remote connections from other devices i.e. your iPad.
- Then you’ll want to create a remote desktop using the Remote Desktop Client. Simply follow the link to get a remote desktop client setup and in 10 minutes you’ll be able to access your PC from your iPad.
You’ll notice that pretty much all apps work very well with the setup above. That’s because Microsoft developed the software for iPad from the ground up and for the sole purpose of connecting remotely to your computer. Therefore, since Silverlight works well on any PC you’ll be able to run it as if you were actually on your computer.
Silverlight in 2019
As is often the case with software that has received the “death knell” for its support eventually ending, most major platforms that once took advantage of Microsoft Silverlight have already abandoned ship. Those few applications that once required you to use it–especially those featured in the article above, for iPads and iPhones–have largely moved on to the nigh-anticipated HTML5, which is working like a charm on mobile devices. Whereas iPads and iPhones previously had no native support for Flash and Silverlight, they can now function perfectly fine without either, as the app store has grown.
Services such as Netflix and Amazon Video, each of which were previously dependent upon Silverlight, now have fine-tuned apps available on iOS that will function just as smoothly and swiftly as they do on your desktop computer. While marginal levels of support will remain for Silverlight until the advertised year, 2021, it’s been made quite clear that any software that once took advantage of it has ceased doing so.
Still, that doesn’t mean that some users won’t run into the occasional wild circumstance that they’re still asked to have the software installed. Usually, this comes down to troubleshooting, so let’s do a bit of that here.
Updating Apps and Operating Systems
Most of the time, if an app or web page is telling you that Microsoft Silverlight is required, it’s simply outdated. Either that or the app you’re using to access it is outdated. It’s also possible that your version of iOS isn’t up to date.
By and large, if all of your stuff is up to date, you’re not going to see much of Silverlight until it finally, eventually departs for good.
- Check to see if you have any apps to update. If so, hop to it!
- Make sure that you’re using iOS 9.0 or higher.
- If you’re trying to access streaming content through your mobile web browser, check to see if there’s an app, instead.
Following these three rules should allow you to steer clear of any potential obstacles or roadblocks between you and your content. Since that largely what Silverlight has become in the wake of HTML5, it’s now become best practice to find ways that you can circumvent its use, rather than finding ways to run it on your iPad or iPhone. New software and apps aren’t going to support it, and so neither should you!
This wraps up the guide to Silverlight for iPad and hopefully gave you some great options to utilize the video streaming and audio streaming platform on your iPad or iPhone. Let us know if you have any other ideas for good options and anything else that can get us quick and easy and bug free access to Silverlight when we’re on our tablets.
Please share this post on Facebook and Twitter and tell your friends to use one of these options if they complain that they can’t view a video or stream Netflix because it’s requiring them to download Silverlight. After all, it’s a great platform that is still widely in use. Until the time comes when HTML5 is the only option out there, we’ll need to have work arounds. With HTML5 we finally won’t have to worry about the dilemma any more and we’ll be able to access any content we want from any device. That is, after all, the end goal isn’t it?