SurfCube 5 for Windows Phone 8 is now available to consumers. This major release of the popular web browser introduces a number of new features, including support for the new speech API in Windows Phone 8. The app is a popular choice for those who require that little bit extra which Internet Explorer doesn't quite provide. So what joins speech in version 5?
While the majority of you are perfectly content with the default Internet Explorer browser on your shiny new 8X or Lumia 920, others like to be contrarian and use something else. For those folks, SurfCube has been a popular browser since Windows Phone 7 first hit the market. Since then it’s had a few updates, the latest bringing some new features just for Windows Phone 8.
Nokia is offering Hungarian Lumia Windows Phone owners a worthy freebie. Should you remember SurfCube 3D, the web browser with a virtual 3D cube transition effect, and reside in Hungary then you'll be able to snatch up a Nokia branded version of the app for nothing at all.
Check out the video above for an Easter egg found within. Should you be eligible for the free version of the app (usually $1.99 or ad-supported), head on over to the Marketplace to download SurfCube 3D for Nokia (requires a Hungarian Live ID), which is available until April 15th. Updates will cease after this date has passed.
Developer András Velvárt has posted some interesting date regarding which devices are using his popular alternative browser SurfCube (which just had an update). While we don't see many mystery devices on the list (nice to see the Lumia 900 though) we do get an idea of device breakdown and popularity.
The Nokia Lumia 800, arguably one of the most promoted Windows Phones yet is really gaining traction. In fact, it's number one with nearly 14% of usage on SurfCube. That's compared to the HTC HD7 at 11.7% and the Samsung Focus with 9.3% which is astonishing because as you can figure out, those devices have been out much longer than Nokia's offering.
There should be little doubt that Nokia's ad campaigns and ability to launch in many smaller markets is really paying off. Of course, there is some wiggle room here too. For comparison, in the app "I'm a WP7!" we can see the Lumia 800 at 6% which is half that of the Focus and HD7--still, even those numbers are impressive as it Nokia is clearly starting to eat up the Windows Phone market.
Heads up folks, if you're looking to spice up your Internet Explorer experience, we should steer you towards Surfcube. A browser-wrapper of sorts (it uses IE9 as the core), Surfcube gives the user a whole new way to interact with their web browser with a 3D rotation cube that enables full-screen browsing and a simple way to access tabs and bookmarks.
The app is normally priced at $1.99 but is now 50% off till January 1st, which we think is a pretty good deal. The app of course has a free trial or you could use the free, ad-supported version if you want. But at $0.99 this is a pretty great price for one of the top-rated apps around. Grab it here in the Marketplace to take it for a spin.
If you think Internet Explorer 9 on Windows Phone is slick, you should try it with Surfcube 3D. The browser is a wrapper for IE9 that extends and enhances the browsing experience while making it super cool--after all, it makes it a 3D "cube" that you can spin around.
We've heard that there's at least one hidden surprise with the browser and now you can see it for yourself. Go to Settings --> About and tap the Kinabalu Innovation logo (the mountains) to enter the free-cube mode. Basically the cube become unhinged and "floats" with the accelerometer.
Useful? Not really. But fun to goof with? Definitely.
In case you needed some apps today, especially ones that are on sale, we have two to mention for you.
IM+ Pro, the all inclusive instant messaging app with push notifications and Mango-optimizations, is 50% off from its usual $4.99 to a more reasonable $2.49. The app just hit v1.9 recently, adding more improvements. There is of course a free version of the app with ads, but with the Pro you get a less cluttered, more streamlined look--which is what we personally opt for. Seems like a good deal though, so grab it here in the Marketplace if interested.
Likewise, Surfcube 3D browser, which sets the standard for a great UI while browsing, is also on sale for $0.99. Surfcube 3D is a great tabbed browsing experience that allows you use gestures to "rotate" the screen around for quick access to the address bar, tabs and options. You also get full-screen browsing and some great share features as well. The app recently under went some Mango-upgrades itself and if you surf a lot, you'll want to give this great app a trial run too. Pick that up here in the Marketplace.
It's been awhile since we covered SurfCube, the third part browser which we think we can safely say "won" the browser-wars. The browser is known for it's virtual 3D cube design, giving new life via an innovate UI to web browsing and interaction. It's unique and not just for Windows Phone 7, but for any platform.
The big addition in v3.0, besides some bug fixes and performance enhancements, is the addition of YouTube support within the browser. What this means is, if you come across a YouTube vid while surfing you should be able to play back the video without leaving the browser--certainly a nice feature. It's still limited by Mobile IE's YouTube limitations, so don't expect it to be Flash compatible, but it handles mobile sites with video quite well. We gave it a quick spin and while buffering was a little choppy (over 3g) it handled WiFi really well. The video quality was pretty darn high even over 3G and it was certainly much more convenient. (Skip to 1:34 in the video to see it in action.)
Finally, we should also mention that the browser has won a Microsoft Innovation Award in Smartphone Application category, An award we feel is much deserved.
Kinabalu Innovation Limited has informed us that SurfCube is making the move to being ad supported, starting with version 2.5. The trial version will no longer be capped at 20 uses, but will display a small advertisement. Anyone who purchases the 3D browser will be able to use it free of ads.
Due to popular demand, SurfCube 2.5 will also include the ability to save JPEGs directly to the phone. The people spoke and Kinabalu listened.
If you want to check out SurfCube Free 2.5 you can get it here.
Hopefully you've seen the Surfcube 2.0 preview vid from few days ago. If so, you're probably as excited as we are that the 3D spinny browser has hit the Marketplace. (Remember to do the force-update trick to grab the new version). Featuring tabs (yusss!) and a new navigation mechasims (the joystick), the new version is quite worth the wait (and price).
So far, it's pretty darn cool. The joystick takes a bit to get used to but once you get the physics, it's quite fun to use--which is something we usually don't say about browsers. Go get yours in the Marketplace here.
Considering how Mobile Internet Explore is currently the only browser on Windows Phone7, we sure have a lot of amazing options e.g. Metro Browser, Browse On and Browser+. Now there is another new app called SurfCube which once again, redefines browsing on our device.
In short, it adds a 3D cube to the mix that allows you to rotate around to other screens (settings, bookmarks, etc.) while maintaining a full-screen browsing experience. It's surprisingly very fluid and easy to use even makes sense.
We'll be doing a more thorough look in a bit but for now, you can give it a spin in the Marketplace for a trial or purchase for a fair $1.99. Check the video of it in action after the break.