Skyfire begins the hunt for BlackBerry alpha testers

By on April 11, 2009 at 9:18 AM.

Skyfire begins the hunt for BlackBerry alpha testers

BlackBerrys are great for a lot of things but web browsing just isn’t one of them. The default web browser really isn’t all that suitable for anything more than WAP sites and, well, it’s painfully slow. Because of this, a large number of BlackBerry users turn to third-party browsers such as Opera Mini and Bolt to fill the mobile web void that has been forced upon them. While both are good third-party browsers in their own right, they’re nothing like the amazingly adept Skyfire browser that is available to WinMo and S60 users. A BlackBerry version has long been one of the most wanted BlackBerry apps, but so far Skyfire hasn’t done anything about it. That is, until now. We’ve been receiving a steady flow of tips from elated BlackBerry users who have been offered the chance to alpha test Skyfire for BlackBerry. Testing will begin shortly with Bold users and then be expanded to those with a Curve, Pearl and 8830 (no, there is no mention of the Storm) which means that within the next few weeks some lucky people will be running around with Flash, Quicktime and Silverlight-capable BlackBerrys. Hit up the jump for the email that Skyfire sent out.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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Skyfire updated to 0.9; even more PC-like web goodness

By on February 12, 2009 at 12:01 PM.

Skyfire updated to 0.9; even more PC-like web goodness

In the age of streaming everything, mobile browsers are definitely not having an easy time keeping up. At best, streaming a video to an OEM smartphone browser is a complete mess; at worst, it’s impossible. Enter Skyfire, a third-party browser we’ve covered here on BGR before and the best way to describe it might be to quote the company’s homepage pitch: “Watch any video, listen to any music, stay connected with friends, browse whatever you want.” Of course that’s a bit of a reach but Skyfire does multimedia processing on the server side, opening up a whole new range of sites and services that become accessible – Hulu, YouTube, Last.fm, the Hype Machine and so on. Skyfire today announced the availability of version 0.9 of its mobile browser which includes tons of tweaks and new functionality:

  • New start page – integrated RSS, Facebook, Twitter, etc
  • Improved readability – adaptive font sizes, contextual zoom, etc
  • Widescreen / hi-res support – Handsets such as the XPERIA X1, Samsung Omnia and Nokia N80 are now supported
  • Improved Superbar – improved auto-suggestions
  • Multimedia downloads – there is now an option to download audio or video files streamed by Skyfire
  • Updated page rendering – faster page loads, better zoom
  • Updated plugins – Flash 10, Silverlight 2.0 and newest Quicktime are all now supported

There are also a variety of version-specific improvements and tweaks such as better email link handling in Windows Mobile and improved battery life for the Symbian version. Conclusion: Current users, update ASAP. New users, catch up.

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Skyfire beta updated; one step closer to the real, real web on mobiles

By on November 22, 2008 at 10:07 AM.

Skyfire beta updated; one step closer to the real, real web on mobiles

Skyfire pitches its like-named mobile browser beta with the tag line, “The PC web. On your phone. Real fast.” Simple yet poignant. Many companies make similar claims yet fail to deliver. Apple, for example, had a long commercial run highlighting the iPhone’s ability to display real webpages. That’s nice and all, but try to download a file or listen to / watch some embedded media and you’re reminded pretty quickly that you’re not, in fact, dealing with the real web. S60’s browser on the other hand, while a whole lot less visually pleasing, does take things one step further. Users can download and upload files or even watch an embedded video or two courtesy of Flash Lite integration – sometimes without crashing. With the newly updated Skyfire browser however, things just got a whole lot more interesting. Skyfire claims users of its browser which recently entered open beta can “watch any video” and “listen to any music”. While the word “any” takes those statements slightly outside the realm of reality, the fact is the Skyfire browser is pretty remarkable in terms of speed and multimedia capability. Forget about YouTube videos, we’re talking full-on Hulu.com, TV network sites and more for video, and music sites that had been previously unaccessible as well. If you’re packing an S60 handset and you’re in a region where Skyfire is available (US, Canada, and UK), definitely do yourself a favor and hit get.skyfire.com from your lame current mobile browser.

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Skyfire launches in Canada, customized “Canadian” homepage

By on November 1, 2008 at 11:05 AM.

Skyfire launches in Canada, customized “Canadian” homepage

There’s no doubt about it — we’re big Skyfire fans over here. While we’ve begged them to make a BlackBerry version, something they said they are actually in the process of looking at, expanding their market share in other countries isn’t such a bad thing is it? Some of you sneaky readers have managed to scam the system, but for everyone else, Canada’s now an officially supported country. So, hit the link, get your Canadian browsing on, and make sure to hit Skyfire up on Twitter so you can give them some feedback on what you’d like to be included in a future release of Skyfire.

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Skyfire enters public beta

By on September 24, 2008 at 3:13 PM.

Skyfire enters public beta

The mobile browser arena just got a little more competitive on Tuesday when the much-talked-about mobile browser Skyfire launched its public beta. Previously in private beta, the now public version opens up Skyfire to anyone in the US with a Windows mobile or a Nokia Nseries / Eseries S60 (3rd Edition) phone. Skyfire also received a version upgrade from 0.6 to 0.8 that features improved video streaming, faster page loading, the ability to download images and PDF files, and a redesign of the interface to incorporate more icons and less text. Best of all, Skyfire, unlike its competitors (cough, Opera Mobile) comes in at a nice price. It’s free!

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Skyfire hooks us up with 100 beta codes, mass chaos ensues

By on August 15, 2008 at 8:21 AM.

Skyfire hooks us up with 100 beta codes, mass chaos ensues

If you haven’t been lucky enough to try out the awesome mobile browser that is Skyfire, now is your chance. We’ve got 100 beta codes which will give you immediate access to either the Windows Mobile or Symbian clients. In our usage, the Symbian version smokes the Windows Mobile version, but that might just be us getting excited. We’d love to see a couple changes to the client: local browsing history, more shortcuts, fixed menu layout on the E71, and a couple other things. But all in all, this is the browser to beat. Even though they use server-side rendering, we haven’t come across a single site that didn’t work for us, or didn’t allow us to navigate, enter text, submit forms, and hinder anything we wanted to accomplish. Plus, you can view full Flash websites. You can’t beat that. If you want to sign up, use the beta code “bGenius” (negative on the quotations there Skipper). Let us know what you think of it, ok?

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Skyfire brings full browsing experience to mobile phones everywhere

By on August 1, 2008 at 1:57 PM.

Skyfire brings full browsing experience to mobile phones everywhere

Skyfire has just launched their new mobile browser client, and if early reports from the beta are any indication, the company has a real contender on their hands. The Skyfire Browser aims to bring a desktop-like experience to your handset. In addition to providing scaling, zoom, and reformatting duties, Skyfire’s real claim to fame is its support for Flash and Ajax. The software manages to provide usable access to Flash and Ajax assets by relying heavily on external server resources to do the heavy lifting, taking much of the burden off of the limited resrouces on your handset. We’re guessing the results will be somewhat mixed, but any attempt to bring this sort of functionality to the palm of your hand is certainly worthy of a round of applause. The client launched today for Windows Mobile, with a private Symbian S60 beta taking place with plans for a wide scale launch soon.

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