Nokia killed Symbian. Many links to Symbian apps on this site have expired. Check out Android Underground.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Web browsers: Opera Mobile fast, Skyfire dead, Bolt new

Opera Mobile
Opera Mobile Symbian S60 mobile phone web browser
The big brother of Opera Mini is updated: version 10.1 is no longer in beta testing. Unlike Opera Mini, Opera Mobile doesn't use a proxy server so there's nothing in between you and the web. Version 10.1 scrolls smoother and runs javascript faster.

Opera Mobile has a turbo mode which makes it behave like Opera Mini. The main advantage of turbo mode is that it saves a lot of data traffic, which could make a big difference on your phone bill if you're roaming abroad and pay by the megabyte. It looks like Opera Mini in just about everything else too. Same user interface with tabbed browsing, Opera Link to synchronise your bookmarks and speed dials with other Opera browsers (like Opera Mini) on all your phones, and the same annoying "are you sure" confirmation screen when you want to close the program.

Opera Mobile

Skyfire mobile web browser for Symbian S60
Skyfire is not a good mobile browser (slow, eats lots of data, only works in North America and Western Europe), but it does let you watch Flash and QuickTime movies, and because of its american proxy server it allowed those outside Germany, England, and the USA to listen to without having to buy a subscription.

But hurry, because Skyfire is going to ditch Symbian. Skyfire's site only lets you download the iPhone and Android versions, and they announced that the proxy-based Symbian version 1.0 will stop working at the end of the year. The latest Symbian version of Skyfire is 1.5, but all the signs indicate that this version will die together with version 1.0.


Skyfire for Symbian is no longer available from Skyfire's own website, and they've pulled out of the Ovi store too. You can still get Skyfire 1.5 from Mobile Castle:

Skyfire 1.5 at Mobile Castle (you'll need to create a free account, or use BugMeNot) UPDATE: Mobile Castle is dead. And so is Symbian.

Update: Skyfire is really dead now. No version of Skyfire connects on my Nokia. They promised to kill it and they killed it.

Bolt mobile phone web browser Symbian Java
Now that Skyfire for Symbian is about to die, it might be a good idea to give Bolt a shot.

Symbian web browser Bolt does tabbed browsing, has a good user interface, and it does a good job at conserving page layout (except for sites with frames). Bolt plays YouTube and other Flash video, but Skyfire does it better.

There's no predictive text input, so entering URLs can be a bit unpleasant.

Bolt is made in mobile Java. The official site only gives you a .jad file, and wants you to download the corresponding .jar file from your phone for an on-the-fly install. Of course you can also open the .jad file in a text editor to look up the URL for the .jar file if you want to look inside the file before installing it on your phone.

If Bolt doesn't play sound on your phone, switch to a profile with warning tones on and try again. Yep, that sucks, but it's a disadvantage common to mobile Java programs.

Bolt UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.
Bolt at GetJar UPDATE: This link is dead. And so is Symbian.

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