webkit

If you're sitting around waiting for an update to Kik Messenger for Windows Phone, it may be some time before you see an update notification for the popular IM app. That's the bad news.

Why? According to Kik Messenger CEO Ted Livingston the app hasn't been updated to Windows Phone 8 due to Microsoft not supporting Webkit standard in Windows Phone 8. Webkit is an open source HTML 5 standard that is supported by iOS and Android. Without support for Webkit, it becomes more difficult and challenging for Kik to update to a Windows Phone 8 version.

But all is not lost....

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Eck. It was bound to happen. Someone put up an iPhone 3GS up against the prototype Samsung 'Taylor" Windows Phone 7 device in a mini-browser war.

Although a lot of press have been giving Mobile IE a 'not bad as we thought' review, it still pales in comparison to Apple's HTML5 based browser.

Now in fairness, Mobile IE may not be finished yet and in fact, is probably not, so we should expect it to perform better by release. On top of that, we know Mobile IE can be updated independently of the whole OS, allowing, in theory, frequent updates to improve the browsing experience.

Having said all of that, who here would not have liked to see WP7 beat the iPhone 3GS out? It sure would have been a nice ego boost and headline grabber. And without 3rd party browsers being available, at least for awhile (Microsoft has said they may be willing to work with companies to offer browser alternatives, if demand is high enough), we won't have much choice. Come on Mobile IE team!

Watch the full, somewhat painful video, after the break!

[NewsGeek via 1800PocketPC; Thanks Saijo]

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In what is sure to be a technical discussion on the pros//cons of using certain protocols, specifically -webkit-text-size-adjust, in the new IE Mobile Browser for Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's developers have done a retraction due to feedback from the community.

Basically, the issue resolved around how to handle text in in a page with an associated caption and there were ramifications for going with the -webkit- CSS property instead of just the -ms- prefixed one.

The team has now decided to not go with the -webkit- and instead only use the -ms- one. We suppose if you're a web page programmer this means something to you and we're hope you're pleased. We're just glad MS is listening to the developer community, who after all have to use these tools.

Now any of our savvy readers care to explain it in layman's terms?

[via IE for Windows Phone team Weblog]

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Word dropped this morning that Torch Mobile, makers of the Iris Browser, had been purchased by Research in Motion. That's great news for BlackBerry fans, who have been in dire need of a browser for, well, ever. However, this is bad news for Windows Mobile. We just heard back from Torch Mobile spokesman George Staikos, and the response is unequivocal:

The company will no longer continue developing for Windows Mobile or Windows-CE.

Bad news, indeed, if you're set on using Webkit. The good news is that we still have a number of more-than-decent browsers available, including Skyfire, Opera Mobile and even Internet Explorer, which is slowly getting better. And we're still looking for the mobile version of Firefox in the coming months.

Via Crackberry and The iPhone Blog

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Iris Browser gets a host of fixes

It's browser day, apparently. This time, the venerable WEbkit-based Iris browser has gotten an update to v1.1.8. According to Torch Mobile's blog, here's what's addressed:

  • Improved graphics performance
  • Faster networking and loading of local files
  • Improved memory usage
  • Improved asynchronous behavior while loading pages
  • Support for the W3C Geolocation API
  • Support for HTML5 SQL databases and client side storage
  • Rendering improvements, including for
  • CSS transformations and effects
  • Improved Thai support
  • Right-to-left language fixes
  • Many general bug fixes

If you're new to Iris, we've plopped a demo video after the break. For everyone else, head on over to the download page.

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I've often expressed jealousy about the iPhone's web browser. It makes me green with envy and gives me a bad attitude overall - Think Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Raphael on a bad day. After using mobile Safari, Pocket IE makes me want to drive a Sai into my screen. Green. Angry. Chip on my shell shoulder.

I digress. A lot.

The point is that Mobile Safari is based on WebKit, as are desktop versions of Safari (Mac and Windows), Linux's Konqueror (basically), Nokia's browsers, future Trolltech Linux Smartphones, and others. It's a great rendering engine and it's been proven to work well on mobile devices. Soon we'll be able to add another mobile device category to that list: Windows Mobile. Wake 3 is in the process of developing a WebKit-based browser for Windows Mobile.

The video below, besides offering some fun music (turn your speakers down, cube-dwellers), shows that the browser already works. It has a ton of promise - it just looks like they need to do some UI tweaking. First on my list would be making it more iPhone-like: add the tap-to-zoom feature (and make it smarter than Deepfish) and I'll pay you an unreasonable amount of money for this, Wake3.

WebKit is the world's best mobile web browser, used on Apple's iPhone and Nokia’s Series 60 handsets.  Now it runs on Windows Mobile--brought to you by Wake3. 

Read: Wake3 via WindowsForDevices

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