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.