A beta of Skyfire 2.0 for the Android OS has just been released. This is the first Android version of a free app that seeks to bring a PC-like browsing experience to mobile devices, including sites that use Adobe Flash.
The web browser is built in a WebKit core and gives users much of the functionality they know on the default Android browser, such as pinch to zoom, copy and paste, find text on the page, open up to eight browser tabs, and more. But it goes beyond simply rendering web pages, and can display some streaming content including web video and live events.
A Social Browser
Skyfire features a customizable homepage integrating RSS feeds, Facebook and Twitter feeds, and Gmail.
The latest version includes SkyBar, a new toolbar that lets users view millions of Flash videos generally unviewable on mobile devices. The pop-up SkyBar also lets users share articles or videos with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, or by email and SMS messaging, including comments.
The browser can handle advanced features like web video by off-loading much of the work to proxy servers.
The beta of Skyfire 2.0 for Android is available for download for free on its developer’s website. It can also be found in the on-device Android Market.
It will run on devices with Android OS 1.5, 1.6, 2.0 and 2.1.
Beyond Google’s OS, there are also versions of the browser for Windows Mobile and Symbian S60; a version for the Apple iPhone OS is in development.