Skyfire unveils iPhone-like browser for smartphones
Yes, the iPhone does a very good job of this, as do browsers like the HTML browser built into most Nokia phones, and as does the Opera Mini browser. These three browsers have done more to bring ‘almost’ desktop class browsing to tiny mobile phone screens than anything else over the past few years.
Sure, Microsoft have had a cut down version of Internet Explorer within Pocket PCs for years. But as anyone who has ever used it knows, the experience the Windows Mobile browser provides is decidedly sub-par when compared with any desktop browser.
Up until Skyfire, mobile Safari on the iPhone and Opera Mini for most smartphones running Windows Mobile and Symbian operating systems were the browser frontrunners, but Skyfire offers to change all this, promising their browser renders pages as seen on desktop PCs.
Skyfire CEO Nitin Bhandari said in a statement that: “For too long consumers have been promised the ‘real Web’ on their phone, only to be disappointed by slow rendering, error messages, no Flash support, watered down WAP pages or second-rate mobile versions of their favorite site. Skyfire has remedied those ills at a speed not seen before on the mobile platform. By extending the PC Web experience to smartphones, we fully expect Skyfire to fundamentally change the way people use their phones.”
Launched at the DEMO 08 conference in the US Skyfire supports “full Ajax and Flash to bring the ‘real Web’ to smartphones”, meaning mobile users can surf YouTube and watch Flash videos on their phones, make use of Facebook, MySpace, Last.fm and a host of other sites without needing to resort to the mobile, cut-down versions as have been seen emerging from YouTube, Facebook and others for the iPhone and other traditional mobile browsers.
So, how does Skyfire work – and when will users around the world be able to sign up to the free beta, currently only limited to US citizens with a US mobile phone number? Please read onto page 2.
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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks, including stints as presenter of Ch 10’s Internet Bright Ideas, Ch 7’s Room for Improvement and tech expert on Ch 9’s Today Show, among many other news and current affairs programs.