Web browser competition is a good thing; competing browsers mean companies are challenging their rivals with new and exciting features, a better user experience, and faster browsing. On the Android phone, we’ve only had the passable Android and Opera browsers – until now. The 2.0 version of the free SkyFire browser means war.
SkyFire delivers the basics -- plus more. The menu bar at the top features the familiar back button and bookmarks, but also includes a toggle to switch between mobile and desktop views of websites, and lets you use tabs, and the browsing is fast. I didn’t clock the comparison between browsing the standard Android browser and SkyFire, but SkyFire was just as fast -- if not faster.
Love video? SkyFire touts their video playback and in my testing on a Nexus One, the app showed the developers can back up the boasting. I browsed the New York Times website to play the latest David Pogue technology review video. It played smoothly on SkyFire, but wouldn’t play at all with the standard Android browser.
SkyFire aims to connect you to interesting websites. It offers a pick-list of featured sites on the main screen, so you can jump with just one tap. It also features an innovative “Explore” option that scans the current page for keywords, then brings up the latest trending postings, tweets, and videos on those topics. Share to Facebook, Twitter, and email with a single tap.
I was impressed by SkyFire and will be using it while out and about to get some good use out of it’s cool features. Hopefully, the other browser companies out there are also checking it out.