Thursday, April 24, 2008

Skyfire: Mobile Web Browsing For Your Cell Phone

I've become fairly dependent on using my iPhone to browse the web for directions, weather reports, restaurant look-ups, random web browsing, etc. The only thing that I find a little frustrating about browsing on the iPhone is the lack of Java support which will change this summer. Sun Microsystems has said they will release a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) for the iPhone OS, based on the Java Platform, Micro Edition.

What if you can't afford an iPhone, don't want one, are locked into a long term cellular contract, don't have AT&T Cellular service available in your area, etc, etc? You're pretty much stuck browsing the web using a mobile browser that's not very user friendly. A product called Skyfire should change that.

SkyfireLabs is a Mountain View, CA start-up (April 2006) that - according to their website - is creating a free, downloadable mobile web browser that makes browsing on your phone exactly like browsing on your PC. Now, you can use the web from your mobile phone with unprecedented speed and simplicity.

The Skyfire
browser supports full audio, video, images, dynamic Flash content, advanced Ajax, Java...... pretty much everything you can access from you PC..... on a Windows Mobile 5 or 6 phone as long as you are in the U.S. Here's a short video demonstrating the browser.

Availability for the second round is pending - according to the company blog:

At this point, we do not have a firm date for the launch of Beta 2. However, we know it will be sometime in Summer 2008. We can tell you with certainty that it will be worth the wait as we have many exciting new features in the works. For those of you in Beta 2, you will be notified by email as soon as we launch Beta 2. You will be invited to download Skyfire on a first signed up, first invited basis starting with sign-ups on March 2.

You can sign up for the second private round (Beta 2) of Skyfire here. If you do not have a Windows Mobile phone or live outside the U.S., you can still sign up and the company will let you know when there is a version for your phone or country.

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