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Skyfire Beta Available For Some Symbian Handsets

The mobile browser enables users to access and have full interaction with Web pages that have Flash, Ajax, Java, and more.
Startup Skyfire's mobile browser is now available in private beta for Symbian S60 handsets.

The free, downloadable browser is meant to bring a desktop-like experience to surfing the Web with a mobile handset. The browser enables users to access and interact with Web sites built with Flash, advanced Ajax, Java, QuickTime, and more.

With this browser, users could visit sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Pandora from a mobile phone and use all the features, instead of settling for a stripped-down mobile version, the company said.

"For too long, consumers have been promised the 'real Web' on their phone, only to be disappointed by slow rendering, error messages, no Flash support, watered down WAP pages, or second-rate mobile versions of their favorite site," said Nitin Bhandair, Skyfire's CEO, during a January demonstration. "Skyfire has remedied those ills at a speed not seen before on the mobile platform."

Additionally, the browser allows full-screen navigation, thumbnail views, and zooming to resize content for the mobile phone's screen. Skyfire's browser had previously been available on Windows Mobile devices, and the company didn't say when a final version will be released.

As more users surf the Web from their mobile handsets, the browser will become increasingly important. Apple iPhone users access the Internet far more than users on other handsets, and many attribute this to the ease and interface of the mobile Safari browser.

While on-deck browsers will garner a significant amount of users, a recent report from ABI Research found that the market for commercial mobile browsers will be a significant one.

The latest Skyfire beta comes as the mobile browsing wars are heating up. Opera Software recently released its Opera Mobile 9.5 beta, and it offers up a slick interface, as well as pan, scan, and zooming features. Mozilla is also readying a version of its popular Firefox browser for mobile devices as well.