Skyfire is prepping a major update to its Android Web browser, which it will call Skyfire 4.0 Pro Edition. The update will include a new pricing model (it’s currently free), a revamped user interface, and “killer features.” It’s unclear how much Skyfire will charge for the new version, or what those “killer features” will be, but the company does promise it will allow for greater personalization and customization. Skyfire says the existing features will remain free to its 2.5 million beta testers, and that the update should be landing in the coming weeks. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
The Opera Mini browser no longer has a home in GetJar’s app store. Following Opera’s announcement on Tuesday that it will now offer an app store accessible through its mobile browser software on Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Java-enabled handsets, GetJar has pulled Opera’s Opera Mini mobile Web browser from its catalog. In a strikingly candid note to users, GetJar’s chief marketing officer Patrick Mork cites a fear of competition as the cause for the removal. “The simple problem is that Opera mini decided to include a competing app store in its browser,” Mork wrote in a note to GetJar users. “Although we don’t have any issue with this in principle, in practice it means that consumers might start using this app store instead of visiting GetJar to get their favourite apps. This robs GetJar of traffic and therefore of the advertising necessary to keep our service free for the more than 25 million consumers that use GetJar. It also jeopardizes an ecosystem that has generated over 1.6 billion downloads for tens of thousands of developers who depend on us to make money from their apps.” Opera Mini was one the most popular apps in GetJar’s catalog. Hit the break for the full letter. More →
Two weeks ago, BGR revealed several upcoming smartphones BlackBerry maker RIM had baking in the oven. Tonight, the CDMA side of the equation has been filled out following a leaked internal slide deck obtained by Crackberry.com. Joining the Bold Touch (Dakota), the next-generation Curve (Apollo), The Torch 2 and the Storm 3 (Monaco) are a swarm of CDMA handsets destined for U.S. shores. The Montana will launch in August of this year as the CDMA counterpart to the Dakota. Like the GSM Bold Touch, the Montana will feature a 1.2GHz CPU, a 5-megapixel camera and a touchscreen above its classic QWERTY keypad. The Sedona will line up with the Apollo as RIM’s entry-level CDMA device for the second half of the year, and will launch in August or September. Finally, the previously unknown Curve Touch (Malibu) appears to be a forthcoming entry-level full touchscreen device for the CDMA market. Due in late fall, the Curve Touch features the same 800GHz processor as the next-gen Curves, a 3.2-inch HVGA touchscreen display, a 5-megapixel camera with support for HD video capture, 1GB of flash memory, 512MB of RAM, microSDHC support and an updated version of the BlackBerry 6 OS. Additional slides in the deck detail upcoming tweaks to the BlackBerry 6 OS, new gaming features, new personalization options, A CDMA version of the Monaco, of course, and plenty more. Hit the break for some more key slides and then hit the read link for the rest of the deck. More →
Following its announcement last month, LG’s Optimus 2X has become one of the most anticipated upcoming Android handsets thanks to the dual-core Tegra 2 processor buried within its sleek, slim case. Of course, all that will change on Thursday when new dual-core Android phones are introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but for the time being, all eyes are on the 2X. Zealous enthusiast blog Android Arena has uncovered a short comparison video that pits the Optimus 2X’s Tegra-fueled Web browser against the iPhone 4, and LG’s Android beast certainly appears to come out on top. Though the tests are anything but scientific and only two Web pages were visited on camera, the video clearly shows the iPhone 4 being bested by the Optimus 2X, which apparently loads images and other content much faster than Apple’s iPhone. Hit the break for the video. More →
SurfCube Browser by Kinabalu Innovation Limited is a brand new 3D browser for Windows Phone 7 devices. To be clear, the interface of this great Web browser features a 3D cube effect. The browsing itself, however, is still done in a standard 2D interface. SurfCube sports a nifty UI that positions various browser functions on five sides of a virtual cube. At its center, the cube features a standard Web page viewer. Above the center pane is the favorites list and a URL bar, and below it is a tab view that is still under development. To the left of the Web page viewer is the browser’s history view and to the right, the settings panel. We tested the app and while it does take a bit of getting used to, the interface goes well beyond novelty to provide a useful and attractive browser interface we’ve grown to really enjoy. SurfCube Browser is available immediately in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace for $1.99. A fully functional trial is available as well, which allows the browser to be opened 20 times for free before users are required to purchase the app. Hit the break for a video of SurfCube Browser in action and follow the read link to download the trial or make a purchase. More →
A job posting for a position within Lab126, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon that focuses on the Kindle, suggests that Amazon may be developing a new web browser for its popular e-reader. In an “it’s about time” maneuver, the job is seeking a Software Development Engineer to work with the web browser team on a project whose goal is to provide an innovative Embedded Web Browser. The current Kindle browser is severely lacking and needs an overhaul if the Kindle is going to compete with the iPad and other tablets slated to hit the market in 2010.
A recent report form ChangeWave Research is foreboding when it suggests that current e-reader owners would have bought an iPad if the iPad was on the market when they made their purchasing decision. Considering the market forces at play, the last line in the job description requiring “someone to deliver high quality work on tight schedules” is quite telling. Despite its calm and cool appearance, Amazon may be feeling a bit under the gun. What do you think? More →
Google’s Chrome browser has only been on the market for 16 months, but it has already taken a good share of the market and beat out Safari for the number three spot. Safari, for the first time ever, is now ranked fourth. By the end of December, Chrome was up at 4.63% market share whereas Safari fell to about 4.46%. Of course, the big boost likely came from the fact that Chrome Beta became officially available for Mac and Linux. Top dogs are still Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer, with IE8 still at the top but failing to see any real growth. So tell us, what browser are you currently using and why (speed, extensions, apps, etc)? More →
Among all of the great Web browsers out there, it seems like Opera manages to generate the most enthusiastic group of loyalists we’ve seen. No, they’re not quite as gung ho as, say, BlackBerry or iPhone addicts, but they’re a feisty bunch all the same. Well Opera fans, the day you’ve been waiting for is almost upon us. Opera announced via its blog this morning that its Opera 10 release candidate is now available for download and the final version will lift off on September 1st, as in one week from today. Highlights from the horse’s mouth:
Opera 10 features Opera Turbo, the new bandwidth-booster for slow Internet connections. It also features a significantly improved Opera Mail, Opera’s built-in e-mail client. Tabbed browsing enters the next phase of its evolution with resizeable [sic], thumbnail tabs. The upgrade of Opera’s Speed Dial now gives users a chance to personalize their favorite online destinations and the overall look and feel of their start page.
Opera also claims that version 10 of its browser is a remarkable 40 percent faster than the already-spry Opera 9.6. Long story short, it’s definitely worth checking out.
We just got a heads up that because one of the alpha builds for Skyfire for BlackBerry was leaked earlier, Skyfire is taking the servers offline for the next couple weeks. Our guess is that they’re going to implement some sort of security protocol for alpha testers going forward, and you can chalk this up to leaked software ruining the world forever. Here’s the text:
“Today our alpha application was leaked. We are temporarily halting our Alpha program. As you know, we were working with a small group of you under NDA and our intent was not to open the program beyond that small number right now.
We appreciate your feedback on Alpha3, and in the next few weeks we’ll be sending you a new build to test. In the meantime, the servers will be down and you will not be able to use the application.”
We’re getting closer, WinMo fans. Mozilla has just released the second Alpha build of its highly, highly anticipated mobile version of Firefox. Still dubbed Fennec for the time being, Windows Mobile users who aren’t infatuated with Skyfire can now head over to Mozilla’s website and download the official Alpha 2 version of the browser. This latest version is still a testing version as the name might suggest, and it’s quite rough around the edges. Nonetheless, progress is steady and this latest version includes the following improvements:
- Improved panning performance
- Newly designed theme
- Improved add-on support
- Numerous bug fixes
- Improved UI polish
This release is available for anyone running Windows Mobile 6 — not just HTC Touch Pro users like the last release. Woo hoo! If anyone takes the plunge and installs this alpha version, hit us in the comments section with your first impressions.
Opera tantalized everyone last week with its proclamation that the Norwegian company was about to reinvent the Web. We were skeptical at best. Here we are on launch day and, well, the Web kind of feels the same, but Opera has announced its latest and greatest innovation, dubbed Opera Unite. According to the post at Opera Labs, Opera Unite is an application that will turn any computer running the software into a web server. Users running Opera Unite will be able to share content with multiple computers over the Internet through the web browser, or even web applications called Unite services. Opera is pushing the service as a social media tool that requires no third party service, no complicated setup and no additional fees. Your data shared from your computer, on your terms and under your control. The service will launch with a few demo applications including Opera Unite Jukebox, an in-browser media player, and an instant messaging application. Opera Unite will work on Mac, Windows and Linux PCs with expansion to mobile browsers and other devices expected in the future. An alpha version of the Opera Unite software is now available for download.
Sorry Al Gore, your work here is done. The Internet as we know it will soon to be a thing of the past. No longer will a complex series of interconnected computers following a strict set of protocols connect us to the information we crave, the knowledge we relish and the kitty videos we yearn to “awwwwwwwwwwwwww” at. TCP/IP… Psssshhhh, peace. Copper wire, fiber optic cable… So long, suckas. Opera is about to kick it all to the curb. Or maybe, just maybe, Opera’s PR team is writing checks the company can’t cash and we’re just going to see Opera 10 come out of beta on the 16th. Yeah, that’s way more likely.
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
Following a report from Forbes last Friday, Opera has stated publicly — at least in PR speak — that it denies suggestions of one or more US carrier agreements rumored to be announced in early April. Forbes’ report suggested US carriers were finally “coming around” and the Oslo-based browser company would be announcing agreements to bring its mobile browser to subsidized handsets in the US at CTIA. Opera’s public response:
Opera is aware of statements in the media that Opera will announce one or more agreements with US operators in early April.
Opera would like to clarify that it has no plans to announce any US operator agreements to the OSE in early April as mentioned in the media.
Well that doesn’t leave much room for debate now does it? The idea of less-savvy users in the US having access to a more real version of the web from feature phones was definitely exciting as typical, casual users are unlikely to seek out a browser like Opera Mobile on their own. Alas, no such luck if this announcement is taken at face value. We’re sure Opera will continue to push its browser to US carriers and we can only hope deals will be announced at some point. That point however, will not be next week at CTIA.