Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Browsing for Alternative Browsers

The iPhone revolutionized Internet browsing on cell phones when it introduced the user-friendly Safari browser. Looking at the Internet on your phone was just like looking at the Internet on your computer at home or in the office. Smartphones boasting Windows Mobile operating systems have followed suit and offer a wide variety of Web-browsing options. A few of my personal favorites: Opera Mobile, Mobile Firefox and Thunderhawk.

Opera Mobile (available in 9.5 beta version) is the free, smartphone-ready version of the popular Opera Mini, which works on all Web-enabled cell phones. Opera Mobile accesses Web sites on Symbian and Windows Mobile devices and allows for fully interactive Web services and tabbed browsing.

An ever-popular alternative to Internet Explorer on desktops has always been Mozilla’s Firefox Web browser, which will soon be released in a free Mobile Firefox version for your smartphone. It will be available for both touchscreen smartphones and non-touch devices. The browser allows for quick-view tab browsing and zoom functions that differ from current mobile Web browsers, as well as the ability to sync your desktop Firefox bookmarks and settings.

Finally, if you want a different option and don’t mind shelling out a little cash, you can pay roughly $6 for a monthly subscription or $50 for an annual subscription to Thunderhawk, a Bitstream Web browser. Thunderhawk provides a secure browser for Symbian and Windows Mobile devices, as well as Java-enabled cell phones, and provides a consistent interface between desktop and mobile phones.

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