skyfire

This past summer we reported that Skyfire would begin scaling back operations and development on Windows Mobile and Symbian products. While development stopped on this popular mobile web browser, the company continued to offer support for their products in select countries.

Skyfire has now announced a complete phase out of their Legacy 1.0 products for Windows Mobile and Symbian effective December 31, 2010. Skyfire products will no longer be available or supported for Windows Phones.

In the press release, Skyfire's CEO Jeff Glueck stated,

"We do expect to bring Skyfire 2.0 to additional platforms, and have begun discussions with some carriers and OEMs to decide which will be our next OS. Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 and Nokia’s MeeGo platform are both shaping up as platforms with a lot of potential and the recent launch of the new Blackberry OS 6 with a WebKit browser core makes for interesting potential for a future release of Skyfire 2.0."

While Skyfire will quickly become a thing of the past with Windows Mobile, we may see it as a part of Windows Phone 7 in the future.

via: Skyfire

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Skyfire has announced that they will be scaling back operations and development beginning July 1, 2010.

The decision appears to be the result of demand out pacing resources. Skyfire users have grown 400% in the past year and Skyfire has been approached by several vendors and wireless providers to become default browsers for their handsets.

The scale down will call for a stop for all future development on Skyfire 1.0 (only used on Windows Phones and Symbian phones) architecture and focus on Skyfire 2.0 as the flagship product. Additionally, Skyfire 1.x will no longer be supported outside of North America and Western Europe.  Skyfire 1.0 and 1.5 will remain available as a free service in the following countries after July 1st: United States, U.K., Canada, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Korea and Taiwan.

Jeff Glueck, CEO of Skyfire, stated, "We know this decision is an inconvenience to many Skyfire 1.5 users in emerging markets, and while it’s a free service, we appreciate how important and valuable Skyfire has become to people. We have read the many impassioned messages from users in affected countries, and the choice to focus on our flagship product does involve trade-offs which are never easy."  Skyfire will move forward with continued development for Android phones, submit a version to the iPhone App Store and hopefully have a product available for the Windows Phone 7.

You can find the full announcement here.

[via: phonescoop.com]

 

 

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Okay you TV watching fanatics, while Hulu may have lost The Daily Show/Colbert Report recnetly, it looks like somehow they are now allowing the Skyfire browser to stream videos.

Or perhaps it is vice-versa, we'll probably never know. (See Skyfire's earlier explanation to the community).

Either way, if you load up the latest version of Skyfire and head to hulu.com, you can now stream your heart away. We just tried it ourselves and we can confirm 100% (see above screens shot).

So there, you folks happy yet?

Update: And thou taketh away. Looks like it was just an error on Hulu's part as mobile streaming, once again, is dead in the water. Such teases. Thanks to everyone for sending this in.

[Thanks Scott, via everythingWM]

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The mobile browser battle is heating up again, and Skyfire is bringing it. The release of Skyfire 1.5 brings full-screen action, smoother scrolling and an even deeper experience. Here's the full rundown of what's new:

  • Full VGA Support. Skyfire now provides native support for the VGA and wVGA resolutions as seen on many recent Windows Mobile phones.
  • Smooth Scrolling. Kinetic scrolling has been added to Skyfire. Flick and you will see that scrolling has become very smooth.
  • Finger friendly UI. There are many UI updates to enable finger friendliness, increase the ease of use and add a bit of fun to the Skyfire experience. We updated as well the start page to be simpler-to-use with high-resolution devices
  • Full screen mode. For touch screens we have a mode that will completely remove all UI elements from the screen to provide maximum visibility onto the page. Tap the bottom right corner to bring back the toolbar.
  • Auto-Move text entry. This keeps any text entry box visible when the virtual keyboard is used. This convenient feature assures that web site forms are easy to use, in case the SIP (i.e., virtual keyboard) covers it.
  • Latest versions of Flash 10 and Silverlight. 1.5 has been updated to the newest and most stable versions of both rich-media formats.
  • Performance enhancements.  Both Skyfire’s client and servers have been upgraded for faster, more responsive browsing.

That enough for ya? Check out Skyfire's official video after the break, and download the new version here.

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Hulu and Skyfire still aren't playing together, but at least the video streaming site and the Windows Mobile browser are now explaining why.

Says Skyfire:

Skyfire users have been wondering why Hulu videos are currently not playing in Skyfire. The answer is simple: Hulu has decided to block you from watching Hulu videos in the Skyfire browser, as part of blocking all mobile access to Hulu, as well as TV access such as with Boxee and PlayStation.

There is nothing wrong with your Skyfire browser, and you can watch other videos on the web.

As for Hulu? Well, Skyfire, that helpful bunch, points us to Hulu's reasoning.

For decades, the TV/movie industry has built its business model on a windowing strategy. Content rights are granted for limited time periods across specific distribution channels. For example, a movie starts in theaters, then moves to pay-per-view and DVD, then to pay-cable channels, later to broadcast, and so on down the line. Similarly, TV shows are available on TV first, then in repeats, then to DVD and possibly syndication, etc.

Distribution availability across platforms — theaters vs. TV vs. recorded media like DVDs vs. online streaming vs. mobile phones — was always implicitly or explicitly controlled in that world. But a few factors have made the barriers between those platforms more permeable: the rise of the web, increased broadband
availability, the ease of digitizing video, and the increase in the computing power of devices like gaming consoles, set-top boxes, and mobile phones.

However, in the near-term, the windowing strategy is still dominant in the business. Billions of dollars flow in across these different windows, and entire companies are organized around them. Nothing productive comes from flouting that reality (except to law firms who work on the occasional lawsuit).

Hulu did say "We do, however, expect these windows to converge over time. There's no way around that." Translation: It'll happen; we just have to figure out a way to make more money off of it. (OK, there may well be other licensing issues, too, but that's hardly sexy, now is it?)

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A couple of minor updates recently were released for a couple of popular Windows Mobile apps.

Skyfire has been bumped to Version 1.1, bringing keyboard shortcuts for Page Up (2) and Page Down (8). There also are a few performance upgrades. Download Skyfire here.

Twikini also has a new build, reaching Version 1.4. But unless you've been dying for German, Italian, Dutch and Danish language support, you can skip this one, as language additions comprise all the new features. Download Twikini here.

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Skyfire has announced that Jeff Glueck, former CMO for Travelocity, will be taking over the helm as CEO. Co-founder Nitin Bhandari will become the company's Chief Product Officer. Last month Skyfire 1.0 was successfully launched on the Windows Mobile and Symbian platforms (as well as beta on BlackBerry) and Glueck's presence is sure to raise the stakes in the mobile browser arena.

Under Glueck's direction, Travelocity was recognized for its business rejuvenation, including "Turnaround Company of the Year" from the American Business Awards, and a Gold Effie from the American Marketing Association for best retail advertising campaign. Skyfire is hoping he can bring it the same kind of magic to the.

Glueck's individual honors include being named to Advertising Age's 2007 "40 Under 40," as well as being a graduate from Harvard University and Oxford University, where he was honored as a Marshall Scholar.

Only time will tell what this will mean for Skyfire but it sounds like a promising step in the right direction.

More on Skyfire's management here.

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While we were busy frantically trying to get Hulu videos to play, Skyfire went and updated the browser on us. Here's what's new in build 1.0.0.12113 for Windows Mobile:

  • Reduced Memory footprint.
  • History is presented in the proper order.
  • Cookies in the UK data center are handled more reliably.
  • Sharing links via SMS are handled more reliably.
  • Reconnect correctly loads the last page in history plus we’ve improved reliability.
  • Site specific issues have been resolved for Rooftopcommedy.com and thefind.com.
  • Zoom buttons behave properly and disappear after a couple of seconds.
  • Default browser setting works more consistently.
  • Text entry on Symbian has been improved with one caveat below.

Hit up m.skyfire.com to download the new build.
 

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Hulu blocking Skyfire browser

One of the great reasons for using the Skyfire browser is because it could load just about anything on the Web, thanks to its proxy nature. No more. Hulu.com has shut out Skyfire (and the PS3, as well, apparently). As you can see above, you're greeted with the following message when you try to view a video:

Unfortunately, this video is not available on your platform. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Inconvenience? INCONVENIENCE?!?!?!? How will we watch our stories?!?!?!? (I'm at least getting audio out of the Firefox mobile Alpha 2. Anyone have any luck with any other browsers? IE6 Mobile?)

The good news for PS3 users it that there's a workaround. For us Windows Mobile types? Not so much. Might that mean a true Hulu mobile client, alluded to many, many moons ago, is finally coming?

Via Engadget

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Skyfire Browser Gets Updated: 8.0.7081

Trying to keep up with Skyfire's updates is becoming a little bit hard these days (no obvious change log, their help forum makes no mention and their Twitter is not that active).

All we can say is that version 8.0.7081 is out today and that it probably fixes some things ;-P

So if you are having problems or just want the latest and greatest, make sure you get the update. You need to login here and go through their cumbersome "send me and SMS" thingamajig--seriously guys, get an auto-update feature stat!

Dunno what Skyfire is? Check out Dieter's video walk-through right here.

Thanks chocmatic for the heads up!

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Released: Skyfire 1.0

Earlier this year, we took a look at the Beta version of the mobile browser Skyfire for Windows Mobile Touch and non-Touch Screen phones.  We liked the potential Skyfire had but found it to be noticeably slower than the competition.  Well the developers over at Skyfire have been working diligently to iron out all the bugs on the mobile browser and today released Skyfire 1.0 for Windows Mobile Touch and non-Touch Screen phones.

According to Skyfire,

"Skyfire remains committed to providing everything the PC web has to offer in a mobile experience with blazing fast speeds. For the first time, consumers can use their phones to watch any web video and live events, stay connected with friends, share web pages instantly, and use the full-featured PC versions of their favorite websites. Skyfire is the only mobile browser to support popular web standards and plug-ins such as Flash 10, Silverlight 2, Ajax, Javascript and more, so the rich media on websites work on phones just like the PC. Known for its speed, Skyfire launches quickly and loads web pages quicker than other mobile browsers."

"Skyfire users can customize the start page with RSS feeds from their favorite websites. In addition, they can integrate their Facebook and Twitter accounts to import status updates and tweets, and easily publish their status to these networks. Skyfire is the only mobile browse to share and publish any web page to Facebook and Twitter networks with one click."

Follow the break for some screen shots and our impressions on the Skyfire 1.0.

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Woo boy, another browser has entered the fray. This one is called Mach5 and hails from Hong Kong and is currently available as a trial. It seems NetAcceler has eventual plans to charge for the browser sometime after May (when this demo expires).

Anyways, Mach5 is like a combo of Opera Mobile 9.5 and Skyfire in that it can render full sites and even do YouTube/media, all proxied through a remote server to compress the data.

From my experience, it's pretty darn good. Graphics are nice, options are plentiful (but not overwhelming) and speed is pretty fast. Watching a YouTube video opens a unique media player (see above) that goes full screen — very nice touch. Downsides? Like Skyfire, this thing will zap your battery, and reports from users say that it makes their devices hot as a microwaved burrito. On the plus side, it looks fantastic on VGA screens.

But don't count Skyfire out just yet. For one, Skyfire plans to remain free indefinitely, and two, look for v1.x coming soon with a slew of new features and improvements — so don't count it out just yet. Still, it's good to have some competition to keep the Skyfire team on its toes. Download/Register here and after the jump, check out a video demonstration.

[via PocketNow]

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Having become pretty popular with Windows Mobile, the Skyfire browser apparently is  making its way over to our BlackBerry cousins. According to an e-mail snagged by the Boy Genuis Report, a search is on for Alpha testers.

We are looking for early Alpha testers to help us develop Skyfire for BlackBerry. If you like to be the first on the block, and on the bleeding edge (bugs!), please sign up and give us a steady stream of feedback so together we can make browsing on the BlackBerry the best it can be.

You can bet CrackBerry users will be lined up down the street for this one. Because if there's one thing that platform needs to improve on, it's the browsing experience. (Yes, we really just said that. Hey, browsing's been getting better on Windows Mobile in leaps and bounds lately.)

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Skyfire teams up with Ustream.tv

Skyfire, the little Windows Mobile browser that could, is teaming up with Ustream.TV, the live video streamer that does, for "a
partnership that will deliver live video to consumers accessing content from their mobile phones."

Ustream gets prominent placement on Skyfire's home page (though just beneath Youtube), from which you get easy access to all of Ustream's content.

“Live video from partners like Ustream fit perfectly into our plan to bring the best of the full web to the mobile generation,” said Tracy DeMiroz, Skyfire VP Marketing. "Without any development required to have a mobile presence, Ustream immediately gives their users access to all the content broadcast from their website. We know Skyfire users consume a lot of media during their day. In fact, on inauguration day a vast majority of our users were watching Obama on Ustream. That's
why we're excited to include Ustream in the Skyfire bookmarks.  In just one click, our users will be watching live television."

Get Skyfire at get.skyfire.com, and check out Ustream at www.ustream.tv.

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Skyfire is making available today the latest version of its browser, version 0.9, for Windows Mobile and Symbian. Just point your mobile or desktop browser to http://get.skyfire.com and Skyfire will detect your phone model and provide you with the appropriate installer. Skyfire is recommending you uninstall previous versions of Skyfire before you install version 0.9.

Skyfire is still in Beta form but has improved from the previous Beta release. Version 0.9 Beta now supports all regular screen resolutions available for Windows Mobile devices as well as wide-screen formats. A few other new additions include the inclusion of Facebook and Twitter on the Skyfire start page, improved text readability, an improved superbar, downloadable media that allows you to download freely accessible media files to your phone, and updated plug-ins to include Flash 10, Silverlight 2.0 and the newest Quicktime version. Read on after the break for our initial thoughts on this new release and a few screen shots.

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Skyfire and Opera Mini Updated

Making a decision on a next-gen Windows Mobile Browser just got tougher again, friends. SkyFire has been updated to 0.8.5 and the new version brings a few new features. Namely: support for larger screens (hi Touch Pro!) and the best feature of all: an immediate download of the open beta. Just head to http://get.skyfire.com/ to get the SMS punched out to your phone (US and Canada seems to be the focus here, though). Since Skyfire is proxy-based, it is able to render fairly quickly server-side and them push the page out for your zooming pleasure. It's also the best browser for multimedia since it's able to handle most Flash video and media embeds on that proxy server and then send it out.

If you're looking for a simpler proxy-based solution and you have an inexplicable yet abiding love for Java Virtual Machine, you might also be interested to know that Opera Mini is tapping in at 4.2 now with skins, performance enhancements, and some minor syncing abilities with Desktop Opera. Early support for video is here as well, but only for those dirty Symbian users.

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Back before Opera Mobile became an everyday alternative to Internet Explorer, and long before we'd ever heard of Skyfire (go get it now!), there lived a little beta named Deepfish.

This little guy was going to swim the deepest, darkest Internet oceans as no mobile browser had before - rendering full Web pages on your Windows Mobile device. That's pretty standard stuff these days with the Opera 9.5 and Skyfire betas, but we were pretty excited at the time.

But the number of Deepfish beta testers was pretty limited, and it largely fell off everyone's radar. Witness: Microsoft put the gaff to Deepfish more than a month ago, and we're all just now noticing. [via]

Meanwhile, The Unwired earlier this week took IE 6 for a spin. (See a pic above.) Again, chances are you'll be completely comfortable with Opera or Skyfire by the time this is released, but it's release is important nonetheless, given that it's supposed to tide us over until the delayed Windows Mobile 7 is launched in the second half of next year.

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Another feather in Skyfire's cap (and another nail in Silverlight's coffin) is the mobile browser's ability to play nicely with Flash.

And that means you can watch tonight's Pittsburgh-Cleveland game even if you can't be near a TV or a computer, as well as the other Sunday games NBC is streaming live. If you still haven't gotten in on the Skyfire beta, head to the private beta signup page and use code NFL08.

Now if only every game was streamed live ...

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