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June 19, 2008

Skyfire

Filed under Gadgets, Reviews, Web

Wow! This *really* changes how I use my cell phone.

Skyfire is a web browser that works just like the web browser that runs on your PC. It supports Java, Javascript, Flash, Quicktime, etc.

I haven't had any trouble with any website I've tried: facebook, match, youtube, davidlenihan.com, espn...all sites that wouldn't work or had formatting issues with the mobile version of Internet Explorer that comes with Windows Mobile.

With Skyfire, you use the normal website, not the dumbed down versions designed to fit on a small screen. Audio and video work as expected.

I downloaded the beta for free...but considering how much utility this brings to my phone...I'd pay a lot for this software...it's worth it! I feel like I got a new phone...probably because the web browser was the weakest part of Windows Mobile.

Check out the demo to see it in action...

Comments (4)

Bubba:

iPhone uses Safari lite. It won't do flash but other than that the majority of sites work fine. Skyfire won't work with iPhone, only with Windows Mobile 5 and 6 phones.

From Skyfire's FAQ
Apple iPhone: Waiting for a call from Steve…

Also side note for the largest enterprise cell phone users....
Blackberry: We are currently investigating support for Blackberry, but it's not on our immediate roadmap.

I think Skyfire has a novel but very efficient/foolproof way of working.

When you request a web page from your phone, Skyfire uses a PC running a regular web browser (probably with a very fast Internet connection) with all the plug-ins to get the web page. It then sends only the image (and audio) from the web page that you are actually looking at on your phone.

When you click on a link, that click is sent back to Skyfire where they figure out where on the page you clicked and do the click on their PC and then send you the updated bitmap.

The nice thing about this approach is that once you have the ability to send images and audio efficiently from a regular web browser to a phone, you don't have to worry about plug-ins or performance...all that happens on the PC at Skyfire.

You get a phone web browser that never needs updating yet will work with tomorrow's newest plug-ins.

Don't know if they do this, but they could: They can use multiple browsers on their end. Pick the browser and version that works best for a web page: IE 5, IE 6, IE 7, Firefox 1, Firefox 2, Firefox, Opera, etc..

Very simple and very effective. It will be hard for IE, Safari, and Opera to compete against this without changing their approach.

I hope Skyfire has patents on this because it will be really easy for other companies to mimic this and take away Skyfire's competitive advantage.

I would like to run something like this on my desktop/laptop...I like the idea of never having to update my web browser. Also, this doesn't use very much memory (no matter how many web pages you are looking at) and should be more stable.

Mainframes return!

I went to this page to verify my theory that Skyfire is just a front end to an actual browser.

And guess what...it is! Skyfire is running Firefox 2.0.0.14 on Windows XP!

Here are the results from Skyfire running on my mobile phone:
CodeName=Mozilla
MinorVersion=undefined
Name=Netscape
Version=5.0 (Windows; en-US)
CookieEnabled=true
CPUClass=undefined
OnLine=true
Platform=Win32
UA=Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.11) Gecko/2007112718 Firefox/2.0.0.14
BrowserLanguage=undefined
SystemLanguage=undefined
UserLanguage=undefined


Here are the results from Firefox running on my Vista PC:

CodeName=Mozilla
MinorVersion=undefined
Name=Netscape
Version=5.0 (Windows; en-US)
CookieEnabled=true
CPUClass=undefined
OnLine=true
Platform=Win32
UA=Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US; rv:1.8.1.14) Gecko/20080404 Firefox/2.0.0.14
BrowserLanguage=undefined
SystemLanguage=undefined
UserLanguage=undefined

Bubba:

Skyfire Enters Public Beta

The mobile browser arena just got a little more competitive on Tuesday when the much-talked-about mobile browser Skyfire launched its public beta. Previously in private beta, the now public version opens up Skyfire to anyone in the US with a Windows mobile or a Nokia Nseries / Eseries S60 (3rd Edition) phone. Skyfire also received a version upgrade from 0.6 to 0.8 that features improved video streaming, faster page loading, the ability to download images and PDF files, and a redesign of the interface to incorporate more icons and less text. Best of all, Skyfire, unlike its competitors (cough, Opera Mobile) comes in at a nice price. It’s free!

http://www.skyfire.com/register

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 19, 2008 9:10 AM.

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