Improving the mobile browser

choiceandflexibility

The latest set of announcements at PDC have focused on improving the end user and developer user experiences. Windows 7 is a continued evolution of the desktop user experience. Internet Explorer 8 is a web standards compliant browser.

There is a gaping hole in the browser on Windows Mobile. 

skyfire-betaWhy does a browser on mobile matter? Look at the Rogers market share this past quarter as a result of the iPhone. Is it phone bling? Definitely. But it is also a device that has a desktop class web browser.

Skyfire announced their open beta today. It boasts an impressive set of features including:

  • New Super Bar that combines search and URL entry into one bar
  • Skyfire can now be set as the default browser
  • New search bar on the Homescreen
  • New start page redesign
  • Faster start-up and page loading times
  • Share a link via SMS
  • Invite friends to download Skyfire via SMS
  • Save an image
  • Download files

And the best part is that Skyfire also supports Flash video on Windows Mobile. The web is the primary distribution channel for content, wether your on a mobile phone, a custom application or dedicated device. The richness of the experience can be improved (see LukeW’s summary of Mix07 Beyond the Browser). And it’s great to see a desktop class browsing experience come to Windows Mobile.

4 thoughts on “Improving the mobile browser”

  1. You raise a great point here David, and highlight one of my bugbears. The mobile experience is currently a set of disparate applications, with not enough integration across to laptop world. Mobile is also not fast enough, even on 3G so it often needs work locally on the device to accommodate.<br />
    <br />
    I admit to being a google fan. I was searching around earlier this week, and located an updated m.google.com. Their new app offers up a phone/ blackberry based search app with google suggest built in, and simple links to gmail app, google maps etc. <br />
    <br />
    Its not perfect, but a good start. We need a holistic view of how we interact with internet and one that can be accessed from any device. <br />
    <br />
    PS… no idea when you redesigned btw but nice. Must get out of google reader periodically 🙂

  2. You raise a great point here David, and highlight one of my bugbears. The mobile experience is currently a set of disparate applications, with not enough integration across to laptop world. Mobile is also not fast enough, even on 3G so it often needs work locally on the device to accommodate.

    I admit to being a google fan. I was searching around earlier this week, and located an updated m.google.com. Their new app offers up a phone/ blackberry based search app with google suggest built in, and simple links to gmail app, google maps etc.

    Its not perfect, but a good start. We need a holistic view of how we interact with internet and one that can be accessed from any device.

    PS… no idea when you redesigned btw but nice. Must get out of google reader periodically 🙂

  3. WinMo is way behind at this point. I keep thinking it would be nice to buy one so I could write apps against it, but then I think about all of the hassle of getting ActiveSync and Visual Studio to work. Instead I bought a Zune, wrote three lines of code and had my first Hello World app deployed. I hope the Zune product group gets a crack at WinMo 7.

  4. WinMo is way behind at this point. I keep thinking it would be nice to buy one so I could write apps against it, but then I think about all of the hassle of getting ActiveSync and Visual Studio to work. Instead I bought a Zune, wrote three lines of code and had my first Hello World app deployed. I hope the Zune product group gets a crack at WinMo 7.

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