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Skyfire 0.8 heads into open beta

Skyfire is the browser that everyone is watching at the moment. Having seen multiple demonstrations of it, I’m happy to confirm that it really is shit-hot.

It offers full web PC browsing support — and, in particular, it can handle Ajax, Flash, Quicktime, Windows Media — everything that your average mobile browser chokes on. This is the kind of service you need when you’re out and about and you absolutely, positively, have to view some content on a site quickly and without arsing about.

I can’t tell you how depressing it is sitting there waiting for your bog standard Nokia or Sony browser to parse a 250k page. It’s horrific, from a geek viewpoint. You see the text download and you try and navigate… uh.. oh… now the text has disappeared while it parses the style sheet. And downloads the imagery. Total arse.

It’s going to be a particularly useful must-have for Windows Mobile users suffering with the default browser. Symbian too. Nokia hasn’t done much in the way of improving the browsing experience on their devices for quite a while. The fact you still have to click, click, click into navigation options to select ‘go to web address’ (as though that’s some alien stupid command that not many people would want to use) still hugely annoys me EVERY TIME I use my E90 browser.

Version 0.8 of Skyfire for Windows Mobile offers the following:

* Better video quality
* Ability to make Skyfire the default browser
* Faster launch and auto-reconnect
* Improved zooming
* Ability to download content
* In-line text entry

To be clear, it’s still US-only. They’re rushing to offer international support. Patience, patience… Western European support isn’t far away.

Register and download here.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

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