New generation of mobile browsers put the whole Web in your hands

Compact, powerful, innovative, new browsers give you more choices than ever before.

Mobile browser wars

Full HTML rendering, clever user interface design is finally putting mobile users in touch with the Web.

Apple: Safari on iPhone

The Safari browser on the iPhone (shown is screen from a new 3G iPhone) opened a lot of eyes to what full Web browsing on a mobile device could be: big screen, touch interface, and full rendering of standard Web sites (except for Flash-based content). 3G cellular makes a fast browser even faster.

Apple: Safari on iPhone, widescreen

The iPhone's touch screen includes an accelerometer that senses when you turn the phone 90 degrees, and the browser snaps into "landscape" mode, letting you view Web content in widescreen.

Bitstream: ThunderHawk

Until this year, ThunderHawk was aimed through carriers and handset makers at high-end smartphones. Bitstream ported it to the Java-based BREW application platform for the mass market. At left, is the full page "minimap" with one area at top left selected in orange outline. At right is the result after zooming in.

Bitstream: ThunderHawk

ThunderHawk makes use of Bitstream's patented fonts, designed for high legibility, and users can select from five magnification levels for viewing content.

Mozilla: Firefox for mobile

This is a shot of the prototype touch interface for the mobile browser, the core of which is the same code found in desktop Firefox 3.0. The browser shows the full Web page, which can be dragged to the side with a fingertip to expose a toolbar. The address field doubles as a search field (the "awesome bar") showing related links, and action buttons below them.

Opera: Opera Mobile, for smartphones

Just released in beta, Opera Mobile 9.5 borrows from its low-end cousin, Opera Mini, to now show first the full Web page. Clicking on the gray carat at lower right launches you into a menu of standard browser buttons and actions.

Opera: Opera Mobile

Clicking on the menu carat overlays the page at top and bottom with browser-specific options. At bottom is the main toolbar: from left, back, bookmarks, tabs, home and menu. How browser vendors design the user interface to handle such tasks is one of the most obvious differences among them.

Opera: Opera Mobile

Clicking on the menu carat a second time, creates an overlay showing additional actions.

Opera: Opera Mini, for mobile phones

Released in early 2006, it is designed for full Web browsing on lower-end mobile phones. Shown is a zoomed-in section of a BBC Web page. Note the horizontal and vertical scrolling bars at bottom and right.

Skyfire

Currently in limited beta on Windows Mobile, Skyfire will look familiar to Firefox partisans: a client-server mobile browser, the server component is based on desktop Firefox 3.0. Currently, the company plans to offer the browser for free.

What do YOU think?

Do want, or need, full Web browsing for your mobile users? Will it make a difference to your enterprise? Why or why not? What's the best mobile browser you've used? The worst? We want to hear from YOU!