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Mobile Web Browers

By Dr. Tarr ·
I spend a lot of time with my mobile device as my sole link to the internet, and so I use the browser on my Blackberry 8330 a lot. Until recently I have been having problems with several site's use of JAVA, and was unable to use any features that used AJAX, as the BlackBerry browser doesen't fully support JAVA, and does not support AJAX at all. I have read many comments on various sites bemoaning this issue, and I have found a solution that is, so far, working for me.

The Bolt browser for mobile devices (http://www.boltbrowser.com/) by Bitstream, Inc (http://www.bitstream.com) of Cambridge MA is doing a great job for me. There are a few clunks in the interface, but it is a beta product, and still stands, in my not so humble opinion, head and shoulders above the product that was shipped by RIM. The browser actuall presents the web page as it would appear in a PC based browser, and offers two primary modes of navigation about the page, a full screen mode where you scroll around until you find what you want, and a split screen mode where the entire page is displayed in miniture on the upper two thirds of the screen, with a magnified view of the area in the cursor box displayed in the bottom third. I am finding that on sites I know well the split screen view works best, but on sites where I am less familiar with the layout and content I like the full screen mode better.

In their website Bitstream writes:

BOLT is a free downloadable browser that offers an uncompromised browsing experience on even lower-end mobile phones.

Rather than offering a simplified, mini version of the Internet, BOLT provides users with a fast, efficient, feature-rich way to enjoy full PC-style web pages and rich media applications on all levels of mobile devices.

Built on Bitstream's ThunderHawk browsing technology, BOLT is the result of 5+ years experience developing mobile browsers that optimize usability, speed and performance on resource-constrained systems with limited memory, processing power and screen space.

I'm not going to attempt a full review of the product right now, but if you need to access AJAX powered content on your mobile device, have a look at Bolt.

Like most of us, I try to keep my eyes open for the next good thing, be it a browser or a new gig, so I'm interested to know how the rest of you have handled this challenge.

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