Back in December, I wrote in this blog about the Skyfire mobile browser, which is virtually unique in being able to show web pages not only as they should appear in a desktop browser, but also supporting Java, Flash and moving video content.
Since that posting, things have gone a little quiet, so I contacted Skyfire to see if there was any news. It appears the company is working on an updated beta release, but the spokesperson would only say that this is expected "in the spring", which implies it is a month or two away at least. No word yet on when a full release version might be available.
I also shared with Skyfire some of the problems I've noticed after using the browser for a while. My main concern is that it is often slow - taking several minutes to load a page, for example. The spokesperson said that some issues are due to the mobile network and tariff a specific mobile user has signed up with, but it should be noted that another mobile browser I have installed - Opera Mini - does not seem to suffer as much from this snail-like download problem.
Other gripes include Skyfire's behaviour if it cannot load a page, which might happen for various reasons, such as momentary loss of signal. When this happens, the browser just does nothing. No error message, nothing. Skyfire just reverts to the page you were looking at before, as if you hadn't clicked a link at all.
However, it should be pointed out that this is a beta version (v 0.85.0.7927), and that bugs are still being ironed out at this stage. And when Skyfire does work as expected, it really is impressive.
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