Proxy-based mobile phone web browser Skyfire is slow, uses way more data traffic than any other mobile web browser, sucks your battery dry real quick, and it doesn't redraw web pages to fit the width of your phone display so you'll need to do lots of horizontal scrolling. Skyfire is not a suitable browser for routine web surfing on your phone.
So why use Skyfire? Because it does some things that other mobile web browsers don't. Skyfire plays video, it plays sound, and it lets you listen to last.fm radio without buying a subscription no matter which country you're in.
The latest update reduces the amount of memory that Skyfire occupies when running, displays websites in the history list in the order you visited them, loads the last page visited upon reconnecting, and fixes little bugs in cookies and zooming.
Update: Skyfire pulled the plug on its Symbian version. All versions Skyfire for Symbian no longer work.
Skyfire competitor Bolt compresses data traffic but keeps much of the original page layout. Bolt has a pretty good and responsive user interface and its split screen mode is a nice touch, but the main reason for using bolt is to watch video.
The latest release comes with little improvements like faster page display, rendering of bold and italic text, support for cyrillic characters, and a better bookmarks screen. Bolt now does a sort of copy/paste too, but this needs more work because it is rather difficult to paste text from Bolt into another program. Bolt doesn't do T9 predictive text either.
Bolt plays YouTube and other video, and now it lets you upload movies to YouTube too. But Skyfire does it better, and it doesn't crash as often as Bolt.
If you don't hear sound, switch to a profile with warning tones on. This is probably necessary because Bolt is a mobile Java program.
You need to give your email address to Bolt to download it from their site, but you can download it directly from GetJar.
• Bolt at GetJar
If you have a very old phone, there's a lightweight version of Bolt with less features and lower system requirements:
• Bolt Lite
There's a new beta test version of chinese proxy-based, data compressing mobile web browser UCWEB, and it's been translated into english by Akushah.
The changes are mainly under the hood when compared to the previous test version. The official non-beta english version of UCWEB is compatible with the patch by jbpseudo which removes the sponsored links from the start page, uses Google search without the limitations of the official program, and adds online synchronisation to the side panel.
• UCWEB 6.7 beta translated by Akushah
• UCWEB 6.3 (latest non-beta version)
Wednesday, 1 July 2009