back to article SkyFire beta goes public

Skyfire, the mobile browser for Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile devices, has broadened its beta testing to include the UK and no longer requires users to register with the service. Skyfire works by using a proxy server, including a UK-based one, to do all the heavy processing and just renders content on the mobile device. Opera …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about ad blocking?

    Meh. Wake me up when it supports granular content-filtering akin to using Adblock and Noscript, or even minimally like copying urlfilter.ini over to your phone using Opera Mobile. The internet is basically unusable without such things as it is, and I can't imagine how then proceeding to try to view it at QVGA resolution would prove rewarding.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    poxy proxy

    That'll help them track you a la phorm & raise revenue by targeted advertising.

  3. Chris Matchett
    Thumb Down

    Opera Mini is still better

    It's faster, more stable, more useful and out of beta.

    In any case - what's the use of iPlayer on a phone when fair use 'unlimited' data plans only offer 500Mb or so. One hour of streaming audio at stereo clocks 60Mb (that's over 10% of Vodafone's monthly max). So now you want to use this for streaming video too?

  4. Gary Littlemore
    Thumb Down

    Wrong Resolution

    I have just downloaded Skyfire for my Samsung Omina, you've guess it... It wouldn't run on my phone either due to the wrong resolution.

  5. Shane McCarrick

    UK and Canada added

    So- they've broadened it beyond the US- but us poor cousins in Ireland etc are still out of reach?

  6. Neil Sedley
    Thumb Up

    Works on my HTC TyTNII

    Very impressed with it.

  7. Terry

    Still not perfect

    The main problem with Skyfire now is the zoom feature. Sometimes it works, sometimes it's not available. Often it will not zoom far enough for my tiny WM screen. This seems like a really odd problem as there's no obvious technical reason for it. It appears to depend on the original web page. If it's in a reasonable font it may be readable. If not quite readable there's a good chance you can zoom it and be fine. But if it's one of these near sighted, allergic to scrolling, long winded types (you know who you are) who believe 6pt font is fine b/c everyone has 24" monitors anyway.... In these situations skyfire fails rather miserably. While Opera 9.5 will zoom it in until it's readable.

    I like the idea of Skyfire. I doubt mobile processing power will ever catch up with the ever bloatier (it's an industry term) web 2.0 world; although Opera has come a VERY long way.

    Skyfire really needs to fix up their browsing. It isn't useful to render it if I need a magnifying glass to prove that. I actually quit using it for this reason. I got tired of having to cut URLs and bring them up in Opera so I could read them.

  8. Greg

    Not impressed

    Just tried it on an Athena. OK, so the screen is too big, so the browser looks decidedly low-res, but I can live with that. However, it's not an impressive experience by any means. The version of Opera I've got on the Athena renders pages itself. This - from the looks of it - has the page compressed into an image and sent to you, so pages appear faster, but you then can't use them. Why? The compression level is hideous, and I can't read text without zooming in.

    I tried watching a YouTube video through it. The Flash appeared on the page, but the framerate was appalling, and there was no sound. All I heard was the speakers clicking.

    And the amount of data transfer that this method must use is beyond belief. Sorry, but it's too clunky, too ugly and too data hungry. If I want to watch a YouTube video, I'll just use the 10 other methods available.

  9. Ben Mathews


    Works perfectly on my N95. Pages load fast, plays youtube with no problem.

    I'm actually pretty impressed.

    BBC iPlayer works although the parental guidance pop up on some stuff renders behind things meaning you can't OK it and the video lags noticably.

  10. David Hixson-Ward
    Thumb Up


    Been using it for a cuople of weeks now - it was cool seeing stuff render and have animations on my TyTN2 - you can even use BBC iPlayer on it and watch the TV through a WiFi connection. It means that I can access websites that previously sent IE mobile utterly crazy. However - it does munch the GPRS data if you're using a mobile session and not WiFi. I don't think its going to replace IE on the phone, but I'll use it for non mobile browser optimised sites - facebook will still be through IE. Although Opera looks good with Facebook mobile....

  11. Adam

    First impressions

    Just installed on a WM6.1 Palm Treo Pro device.

    - Install fails if you download to storage card and try to install, however download to main memory and install to either main memory or storage card and you're fine

    - Upon startup, it calls the UK a "non-supported region" as yet

    - It's pretty quick to start up and pages pull down with a good speed over the HSxPA connection on the Treo Pro

    - Using the square 240x240 screen format was no problem

    However - all this said, it's a very basic browser, sure it handles a lot of "stuff" on the web, but you always start with a page overview zoomed out and have to zoom into the bits you want and there's no menu option to create a "striped page" optimised for the screen size you're on, ala Opera. There's no way I want to keep zooming in, out and moving a virtual mouse pointer round a screen, whilst on the move, using my device one handed - all I want to do is just scroll down or up using the d-pad on the device.

    So quick first impressions - it's quick, very few options/configurations, handles lots of web content and is light on memory (1.6MB) - but it's no excuse to uninstall Opera 8.65 from your device.

  12. Wize

    When is Firefox for S60 out?

    What so special about this browser that the default ones don't cover?

    I've had no problems so far with browsing the net on my N95 (other than one site that moans when it could not detect me as IE or FireFox and stopped me going further).

  13. Tim Croydon


    Looked at this a few weeks ago, but this sort of term in the T&Cs just makes me a bit wary about any proxy-based browser:

    "Skyfire Labs automatically receives and logs information from your computer that your browser sends such as, IP address, browser type, and Skyfire Labs cookie information browser language, referring / exit pages and URLs, platform type, number of clicks, domain names, landing pages, pages viewed and the order of those pages, features used in the Skyfire application, and one or more Skyfire cookies that may uniquely identify your browser."

    Will have a look if it turns out to be too good to miss. Flash on Windows Mobile would be great.

  14. TimM

    S60, certs, etc

    Hmm, looks like S60 support also has resolution limits, going by the lack of N80 support (one of the rare devices with higher resolution than normal, though a tiny screen).

    As for certs. Might be the relevant root cert is missing (typical if it's a GoDaddy cert). If the root cert is not part of the default pack with the phone, they can be a nightmare to get installed. Just trying to download the relevant cert is often not enough unless the hosting server has set the mime type for the cert correctly (has to be application/x-x509-ca-cert). In the case of GoDaddy the root cert also needs to be converted to the right format (DER). Even just copying the cert via PC Suite doesn't aid getting them installed I found.

    Could be newer phones may have the relevant certs though.

    Finally, this is concerning...

    "Skyfire will run on Wi-Fi, however a data plan is recommended."

    Hmm, why would I want to pay for a data plan and use 2G/3G speeds when I can use faster Wi-Fi on a free access point?

  15. david bates

    Works on my N73...

    ...but untll I can find a way of flipping the screen to landscape I'll not be abandoning Opera

  16. Anonymous Coward


    Somewhat rubbish that Skyfire still doesn't support phones with a 800x480 resolution. You know, the phones with large touchscreens and a really high resolution - why would those folks want to browse the web?!? Doh!

    Surely supporting a different resolution would be a fairly trivial exercise.

  17. Adrian Jones

    Seems to be working...

    On my N95. :-)

  18. Paul Leighton

    I've heard good things about this....


    "Skyfire will not run on WVGA Windows Mobile phones" doh!! wont work on my HTC touch HD yet :(

  19. Aaron Giuntini
    Thumb Up

    works fine on my N85 too

    listening to "the now show" on iplayer with it and watched a few youtube video on it with sound.

    i am quite impressed!

    video is not bad at all.

    I am on vodafone too HOWEVER i am using it over my wifi connection..LOL

    have to say i like it and will continue to keep using and testing it out.

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