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Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Bolt web browser: beta version updated but far from ready

Bolt mobile phone web browser Symbian Java
Proxy-based mobile Java web browser Bolt is updated. Unfortunately Bolt didn't publish a change log, and when I tested the program I couldn't find any improvements compared to the previous version.

Bolt compresses data traffic but keeps the original page layout. Well, sort of. It shows bold and italic text as regular text, and it has problems with web forms and pulldown menus.

The new version won't show predictive text either.

Bolt handles flash video (Youtube etc.) by sending it to your phone's default video player, but the resulting video looks bad and sounds worse, if you manage to get sound at all.

Bolt has a pretty good and responsive user interface and its split screen mode is a nice touch, but under that thin shiny layer sits a web browser that's far from usable. Competing video capable browser Skyfire is slow and has many other issues too, but at least Skyfire shows web videos right, which is something that Bolt doesn't do yet.

Bolt is in closed beta testing, open by invitation only. But Mobile Castle lets you climb in through the window without an invitation.

Bolt official website (beta test by invitation only)
Bolt 0.83 at Mobile Castle (open to everybody)

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