Skyfire 1.5 Brings More Speed, Less UglyS

Love that Skyfire can play any Flash videos, and optimize websites to load incredibly fast, but hate that it kind of looks like ass in the process? So does Skyfire! Which is why they've released version 1.5 for Windows Mobile.

In some ways, Skyfire had gotten a little ahead of itself. It was based on a solid server-side optimization model, which compresses websites—including Flash and Flash video—to speed up loading over a mobile connection. As advanced as its rendering powers were, it had some glaring problems. One higher-resolution screens, which are common on Windows Mobile phones, the text looked fuzzy and pixelated. The interface was functional, but a bit small and convoluted in places, which made it a chore to use on some touchscreen phones. Scrolling was kludgy, and zooming was haphazard. Cue the version 1.5 changelog:

• Full VGA Support. Skyfire now provides native support for the VGA and wVGA resolutions as seen on many recent Windows Mobile phones.
Smooth Scrolling. Kinetic scrolling has been added to Skyfire. Flick and you will see that scrolling has become very smooth.

• Finger friendly UI. There are many UI updates to enable finger friendliness, increase the ease of use and add a bit of fun to the Skyfire experience. We updated as well the start page to be simpler-to-use with high-resolution devices.

• Full screen mode. For touch screens we have a mode that will completely remove all UI elements from the screen to provide maximum visibility onto the page. Tap the bottom right corner to bring back the toolbar.

• Auto-Move text entry. This keeps any text entry box visible when the virtual keyboard is used. This convenient feature assures that web site forms are easy to use, in case the SIP (i.e., virtual keyboard) covers it.

• Latest versions of Flash 10 and Silverlight. 1.5 has been updated to the newest and most stable versions of both rich-media formats.

• Performance enhancements. Both Skyfire's client and servers have been upgraded for faster, more responsive browsing.

The best thing about Skyfire hasn't changed: It's free. [Skyfire]