Torch Mobile’s Iris browser takes the power of the Webkit rendering engine to Windows Mobile devices. The mobile browser was released Tuesday.
The browser itself is not unlike the many iPhone Safari clones popping up around the mobile web since iPhones first hit the streets. You load up a page, the page appears as a mile-high overview, you double click in an area and it zooms in, you scroll the page with your finger. In fact, it has a lot in common with another full-fledged browser on Windows Mobile, Opera Mobile 9.5.
The significance of the Iris browser derives from how the page is rendered. In Iris’ case, the page is rendered using Webkit, the same powerful rendering engine behind Safari. Webkit is robust, fast and quick to jump on the newest and coolest web standards. It’s also an open source project, which means, thanks to Iris, Windows Mobile users won’t have to wait for Safari to be ported from the iPhone to Windows Mobile for the same web surfing experience.
Other features of the Iris browser include:
- Multiple Windows and Tabs
- Netscape plug-in API
- Support for input devices and mobile hardware features such as touch screens, keyboards and rotatable screens
The browser playing field on Windows Mobile is a sparse one. Iris has entered the ring to compete with Opera for best Windows Mobile Browser. Opera is even more strict than Webkit when it comes to web standards, is also a fully operable browser and touts some pretty fast speeds too. Also available for Windows devices is Skyfire, which delivers image snapshots of web pages instead of rendering the page on the device itself.
Finally, there is the first generation browser packaged with Windows Mobile: Internet Explorer. It’s clumsy and manipulates pages to fit and render on it. It’s anything but the full-powered browser Safari, Opera and Torch is.
Download the Iris browser at the Torch Mobile website.