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SurfCube 5 for Windows Phone introduces cinema-like article reader

SurfCube 5 for Windows Phone 8 is now available to consumers. This major release of the popular web browser introduces a number of new features, including support for the new speech API in Windows Phone 8. The app is a popular choice for those who require that little bit extra which Internet Explorer doesn't quite provide. So what joins speech in version 5?

We last looked at SurfCube back in January when the app was bumped to support Windows Phone 8 in general. But in version 5 we're also looking at more file types being supported. Users can now access the following within the browser:

  • WMV
  • AVI
  • PDF

As well as the above, the development team has also implemented the first steps of Readability (readability.com) integration. The "Reader mode" strips down a web page to the content (ignoring CSS and other 'clutter') to display text and images. Perfect for viewing articles without having to deal with other distracting elements. The mode can be accessed via the contextual menu (press and hold on a web page).

SurfCube

Next up is "Article Cinema." It's regarded as the most complex single feature in SurfCube since tabs were introduced in version 2. Articles are transformed into a cinema-like experience. Images are displayed while the article itself is read out to the user (see above screenshot). Multiple articles can be added to a playlist for future playback, using the "Play later" option from the context menu while selecting a link. It really is a cool feature.

If all that wasn't enough, there are a number of cosmetic changes and bug fixes included to boot. Check out the official video, demonstrating some of the new features in version 5 of SurfCube:

You can download Surfcube for $1.99 (free trial present) from the Windows Phone Store. A free, ad-supported version (left-hand QR code) is also available.

QR: SurfCube

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

23 Comments
  • I really hate this SurfCube's logo.
  • Is there a back button dedicated?
  • Definitely a plus, seems much better than IE, finally a lock orientation!  I would prefer the address bar on the bottom though.
  • Yeah orientation lock is a HUGE plus fr me.
  • awesome ! who needs chrome or opera when we have this !
    a few questions: can it sync my bookmarks with any desktop browser and can it read pdf like it reads articles or is there an app in the store which could do that and lastly does this or any other browser in the store have flash support ?
  • meh, UC browser rocks
  • Been using this since wp7, definitely smoother and less buggy than UC browser. It does miss downloading of files but overall a more polished browser besides IE.
  • Great browser! Really great to see the continued support :)
  • Anyone else get significant battery drain when using this app? It seems to consume a lot more power than IE does
  • Seems like all apps consume more than their native parts
  • !!!!!  It plays videos from other than Youtube!  I can watch embedded videos as well!  I'll buy this app, but I'll buy the Windows RT version, if it ever comes out.  Other than that, I can live with the ads
     
    AMAZING BROWSER!
  • No doubt app is great but free version is keep crashing during play youtube
  • Whoever did the music for their little youtube ad needs to be shot
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGt25mv4-2Q
    thats how you advertise a browser. 
    not whatever that was
  • Seriously? You want me dead for choosing a song tht you don't like?
    Come on, that Chrome ad probably has spent more money for one second of it than the SurfCube development costed in its entire lifetime. SurfCube is pretty much a two-man effort, and we can't work on it full-tim either.
  • Screw the haters Andras. They do what they do best. Hate. I'm glad to see you still plugging for Windows Phone 8. Good job.
  • Seriously? You want me dead for choosing a song tht you don't like?
    Come on, that Chrome ad probably has spent more money for one second of it than the SurfCube development costed in its entire lifetime. SurfCube is pretty much a two-man effort, and we can't work on it full-tim either.
  • Its a figure of speech :) I dont mind the music.
  • Great browser. I especially like the article cinema.
  • It's crap. Shows only problem with security certificate and option to ignore and open anyway doesn't work. really frustrating app.
     
  • good but too robotic for voice..
  • Keeps crashing every time and the 3D logo looks really weird on my start screen. I'd rather have a metro tile. I love the idea and the gestures work great, but its just really buggy.
  • Yap, keep crashing also in my Phone. I also agree that the icon is so out of the place, when it's pinned next to the other modern style tile.
  • So far I'm loving it. It's smooth and with some good features. :-)