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MWC 2009: Iris Browser updated - becoming a viable alternative browser?

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Torch Mobile have released an updated version of their FREE, webkit based Open Source browser, Iris.

The new version is available for download now from http://www.irisbrowser.com. I've included details of the product below.

Iris has been around a while now, and each time a new version comes out, since it's based on Webkit (like the iPhone browser), I spark up http://i.facebook.com, to see if Iris can replicate the iPhone's excellent Facebook browsing experience. In general, it fails, being too slow or not rendering correctly. This new version however - while still slightly slow to scroll - does a pretty good job of the rendering, and is VERY close to being completely usable. Impressive progress... and it feels like only a matter of time before Iris is up there challenging the best.

Have you used Iris? Let us know your thoughts!


The Iris Browser is an advanced, high-performance and versatile application that is specifically designed to function in resource-constrained environments. It brings the full Web experience to mobile phones, set-top boxes, mobile Internet devices, portable media players, Ultra-Mobile PCs and other embedded devices - in a fast and user-friendly manner.

The Iris Browser leverages the WebKit rendering engine, providing a powerful, standards-based and Web experience that is consistent across mobile Web devices. Harnessing our extensive WebKit expertise, we made the Iris Browser small, fast and adaptable.

Why shouldn't you get the desktop browsing experience in a mobile environment? With the Iris Browser's revolutionary technology, you can access the full Web on resource-constrained device and get the same functionality as you would on a PC.

Core features include:
  • WebKit Rendering Engine - Our developers have unparalleled expertise with WebKit, the rendering engine that is quickly becoming the de facto standard for cutting edge Web browsing. We built the Iris Browser to bring you everything that WebKit has to offer, including standards-compliance, efficiency, portability and stability.
  • Customizable Interface - The graphical user interface of the Iris Browser is highly customizable. This means that we can adapt it to your specific requirements.
  • Touch Screen Control - The Iris Browser is equipped with intuitive touch screen controls, giving you more control than ever over your Web browsing experience without making you navigate complicated menus.
  • Advanced HTML & CSS Support - We believe in being ahead of the curve. That's why the Iris Browser supports both HTML 4 and some parts of the upcoming HTML 5 (canvas), as well as CSS 2.x and 3.x, allowing you to view cutting edge Web sites with exciting new features.
  • Languages - Devices are shipped all over the world. Your software shouldn't limit your market. The Iris Browser supports internationalization of the user interface and viewing Web sites with international encodings.
  • Zoom & Tap Function - The Iris Browser lets you focus on what you want to see. When you view a Web site, you're looking at the full page that is shrunk down to fit the size of your display. Nothing is missing. You can focus on what interests you by tapping on the screen and zooming into specific sections of the page.
  • Multiple Windows and Tabs - You want your Web browsing experience to be smooth and simple, so we designed the Iris Browser to support multiple windows as well as multiple tabs, allowing you to easily transition between Web pages.
  • Input Methods - The Iris Browser can handle any input method that's on your platform. Handwriting recognition. On-screen keyboards. iTap. Auto-complete. No problem!
  • Software mouse cursor - Not all Web pages are created equal. In fact, some are impossible to navigate without a mouse cursor. The virtual mouse in the Iris Browser lets you chart your own Web experience through all sites, giving you the freedom to take a desktop browsing experience with you on the go.
  • Special Effects - You want your device to be unique. We do too. The Iris Browser provides a broad range of special effects, including animations and sound effects, letting you to tailor the application to your style. Some of the existing page transitions that you can choose from include slide-in/slide-out, tear away, shatter, swirl, and many more.
  • Rotating Devices - Now you can get the most out of your hardware. If you're using a device with a rotating screen, the Iris Browser automatically and seamlessly rotates the contents and reformats the page between landscape and portrait modes.
  • Advanced Security Features - We want your Web experience to be fun and safe. That's why the Iris Browser includes a number of advanced security features, including phishing and spoofing protection.
  • Pop-Up Blockers

    Other features include:
    • Advanced mobile key navigation
    • HTTP cache optimized for low disk usage
    • SSL and authenticated proxy support
    • Styled Form Controls
    • Netscape plug-in API
    • JavaScript/ECMAScript 1.5
    • SVG, XPath and XSLT support
    • History Auto-Complete
    • Efficient storage of bookmarks and cookies
    • Bookmark editor, carrier specified list
    • Favorite icons and history
    • XHTML 1.x mobile profile support
    • Customizable about: pages

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Works great with iphone.facebook.com. Btw, version 1.1.3 has just been released.


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Posted (edited)

version 1.1.4 got released. You don't need to hold down for a literal second in order for it to register as a click/touch, instead of drag, now.

Edited by NuShrike

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