Available now as a free download, Skyfire displays web pages as they would appear on a PC, and allows users to zoom in to read text in a similar fashion to the Safari browser on Apple’s iPhone.
Skyfire users will be able to access the full features of any website on their phone, including those with lots of video such as Hulu and YouTube, plus complex, interactive applications like Facebook and Google Docs. Skyfire 1.0 currently runs on handsets with Windows Mobile 5 and 6, and Symbian phones with Nokia’s S60 platform. A BlackBerry version is planned for later this year, the company said.
In version 1.0, Skyfire has concentrated on the theme of picking up where you left off browsing. When you navigate away from a page or exit Skyfire–yet keep it running in the background–the browser will now remember your page position, returning you to your last zoom level and approximate location on the page.
The release brings with it a host of improvements, such as improved navigation, zooming and interaction and a faster launch, lower power consumption, and new search functionality. Also, while the new version of the browser starts up, you can begin typing URLs or search queries into the box at the top, saving time.
Unlike Opera, it’s lacking some niceties that make browsing life easier, like copy and paste, and the ability to search a block of text for a word or phrase. Copy/paste would have been useful for filling in a URL during testing when the URLs for several over-the-air downloads were not linked. There’s also no way to cancel a page from loading in Skyfire 1.0 if you’ve changed your mind.