I love having software options on my mobile devices and am a fan of using web browser options when I have specific needs, such as data restrictions. There are a few browser options on the Google Android platform and one compelling option that just saw a major upgrade is Skyfire. You can find the latest 2.0 beta version of Skyfire in the Android Market or by visiting this link from your Android browser. The latest beta version provides Google Android owners with a Flash-enabled browser and a cool SkyBar media toolbar that gives you access to video content and social networking information.
Check out the video below to see the new Skyfire Beta 2.0 software in action.
From the press release we learn that the SkyBar is composed of the following:
- Video: This icon enables users to play millions of Flash videos around the web that otherwise do not play on mobile. This unlocks content trapped behind those error messages with question marks and blue Legos. Behind the scenes, videos are translated into a format easier for the phone to play, like html5 video.
- Related Content: The Explore icon brings the most relevant content on the internet to a user’s fingertips based on what they are viewing at the time. The Explore button pulls video, buzz, news, images and other sites from the web based on what is on the current page.
- Sharing: The Share icon lets users share any article or video easily to their friends on Facebook, Twitter, or by email and SMS messaging, adding a comment, and all with a single click.
It sounds and looks like Skyfire "gets it" too since I know I have personally moved away from browsing sites and even RSS feeds to first checking out my Twitter and Facebook feeds for news and information. This new browser allows you quick access to this information.
Skyfire 2.0 is built on a Webkit core so you get all the functionality seen in the default Android browser, such as pinch to zoom, copy and paste, find text on the page, open up to eight browser tabs, and more. The heavy lifting is done on the Skyfire servers though so you get a fast experience with less data consumption over the wireless network.
I loaded it up on the evaluation HTC Droid Incredible and have to say I think I just found a new primary web browser. It is fast, functions are easy to access (love the fast switching between Android, desktop, and iPhone views), and the browser looks great on the latest Android devices. Flash-based sites are not supported so you cannot play PopCap Games like you can on the Nokia N900 and Hulu does not work on Skyfire 2.0. Still the speed and a browsing experience are compelling enough for me to use it all the time.