7 Web Browsing Tricks Make Your Smartphone Act Like An iPhone

If Web browsing sucks on your smartphone and you can't get an iPhone, there are some things you can do to make what you've got work more like what you want.
Install SkweezeIt On Your Windows Mobile Phone

SkweezeIt asks if you want to reformat. Say yes and the page is optimized for small screens.
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SkweezeIt asks if you want to reformat. Say yes and the page is optimized for small screens.

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We now venture into more dangerous territory: This and the following strategy require doing things like editing your phone's registry and performing similar feats of techno-derring-do. Don't try this at home -- at least, unless you're comfortable tweaking your technology. But if you like what (see above) can do for you, and you've got a Windows Mobile phone (smartphone or Pocket PC, makes no difference), you might love SkweezeIt.

Creator John Cody explains on the Skweezit Web site that he created the app because he was tired of dealing with abbreviated RSS that pointed to full-size Web pages "which can be very painful to load into Pocket Internet Explorer."

SkweezIt intercepts most attempts to launch Pocket Internet Explorer from another application (like an e-mail client or an RSS reader), and asks if you want to "Skweeze it?" If you say no, then IE launches and displays the linked page to the best of its ability. However, if you say yes, SkweezeIt proxies the URL request through The Skweezer server filters the code for the Web page and reformats it, so the page loads quicker and displays better on your device's smaller screen.

To install SkweezeIt you have to download a .ZIP file, extract Skweezeit.exe and use Windows Mobile's ActiveSync utility to transfer the file to your phone. Then comes the harder part: You must reset three registry keys to get SkweezeIt to work.

Windows Mobile is just like Windows for PCs in this respect: it stores settings in a registry. But while desktop Windows includes a registry editor (Regedit.exe), Windows Mobile doesn't. There are several third-party registry editors available. Some, like the PHM Editor and Tweaks2K2 (both available in versions for smartphones and Pocket PC devices) run directly on your phone. Others, like Mobile Registry Editor, run on your PC and sync the registry file to the phone, which may be easier (and safer) for you than using T9 text entry on a smartphone.

Watch YouTube Videos On Your Windows Mobile Pro Phone

This is the most complex fix on this list, but it's the only one actually surpasses the iPhone. You can't see YouTube videos in the Safari browser (Apple thought it was such an important feature that it put a special YouTube viewer app on the phone's home screen). But if you've got a Pocket PC phone, there are ways to play video in Internet Explorer.

The simplest is described on by a forum member who calls him/herself "zbop." It requires downloading and installing two CAB files:

The first is the TCPMP media player (download it from here). TCPMP stands for The Core Pocket Media Player -- it doesn't have anything to do with TCP/IP. It's a well-regarded media player that's also available for mobile devices running Palm, Symbian, and other OSes.

The second file, FlashVideoBundle.CAB, is attached to the forum message that includes the installation directions. You'll need to register with the forum to get this file (download it from here). It contains the supporting files you'll need to run Flash and related software.

When you've got it set up, you'll be able to play videos from four sites -- YouTube, Google, veoh, and MobeTube -- in IE Mobile. (It works only with IE, not Opera or other third-party browsers.)

If you're comfortable with that, you might want to take a look at some other hacks for Windows Mobile phones in Browsing the Web on MS Smartphone (Windows Mobile Standard) Devices from Werner "Menneisyys" Ruotsalainen, who blogs for Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine's Web site. This two-part article, his earlier Windows Mobile Web Browsing Bible and his other blog entries cover a number of advanced techniques for improving Web browsing on Windows Mobile smartphones.

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