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Skyfire mobile browser comes out of beta

The first full version of the browser, which can easily display Flash and Silverlight video, has been released for use on mobile phones
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

The first fully fledged version of the Skyfire mobile web browser for phones has been released.

Version 1.0 of Skyfire was made available for download on Wednesday. Skyfire, whose competitors include the mobile versions of Opera, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer, is distinguished by the fact it can handle Ajax and rich media technologies such as Flash 10 and Silverlight 2.0 video.

"As web content continues to include more Ajax applications, Javascript, video [and] Flash 10, and web pages double in complexity every 12 months, there will always be a gap between phone and PC capabilities," Skyfire chief executive Nitin Bhandari said in a statement. "PC web progress will not slow down for the mobile industry to catch up. Skyfire's architecture keeps pace with web technologies and seamlessly bridges the gap."

Skyfire first became available to UK users in beta form last October. Since the most recent beta, version 0.9, enhancements such as a start-page RSS news feed have been added. The application's launch has also been made faster, power optimisation has been improved and new search functionality has been added.

The browser has integrated social-networking functionality. It can include updates from Facebook and Twitter in the RSS news feed, and users need only click once in the browser to post articles to their Facebook and Twitter accounts, according to Skyfire.

Skyfire said the browser's beta phase saw more than a million downloads. The most popular sites accessed via Skyfire were the same as the top ones on the PC, such as Hulu, YouTube, MySpace, Google Docs and fully featured Gmail, the company added, attributing this to the browser's handling of Web 2.0 websites.

Version 1.0 can be downloaded for Windows Mobile and for handsets with Symbian Series 60, third edition. A BlackBerry version is currently in its 'private closed alpha' phase, with a public beta coming soon, Skyfire said.

Skyfire 1.0

Skyfire 1.0 is shown here running on an HTC Touch Diamond Windows Mobile phone
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