Iris browser beta 2 released

Torch Mobile, a group that helped develop Safari for the iPhone, come with a brand new browser for Windows Mobile.

The second beta of Iris Browser has now been released giving a number of enhancements. The stability has been increased, page rendering improved and a general performance gain all round. If you were an early adopter of the Iris Browser you may remember the memory usage being too much for your phone when loading large web pages. This has been improved upon as well.

Being made by the same group that helped develop the technology in the iPhone browser, you would expect similarities. This is the first Windows Mobile browser to use the same Webkit rendering engine and can load web pages specially designed for the iPhone in addition to iPhone Webapps. Unfortunately, the similarities end there. There is no fancy multi-touch features (due to Windows Mobile not supporting this). The interface looks outdated. Worse, there is no cut-and-paste as of yet. Though, it is still a beta version and this may come in time.

If you're looking for a free improvement over the inbuilt Internet Explorer, you will find this browser a neat addition, being able to render pages that Internet Explorer does poorly. However, Opera Mini is recommended for a better overall experience given its reduced bandwidth and memory usage.

Recently, Windows Mobile has been a hotbed of new experimental browsers including Deepfish (Discontinued Sept 31 2008), Minimo, Fennec, Skyfire and now Iris.

Keep a lookout for this browser in the future.

Download: Iris Browser Beta 2

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I just installed it on my old Motorola Q. I like that they didn't neglect the WM Smartphone users which lacks a touch screen. They gave us a virtual mouse. Scrolling and moving the mouse is very slow until the whole page is done downloading. Other then that it looks VERY promising.

Yeah. I can't find any information on this except for the source I listed. Well, I changed the article to show that they helped develop it instead of the rather misleading 'developed' it.

Torch Mobile have been working exclusively on WebKit/KHTML since 2003. They have contributed many patches to the project (Webkit), which is the basis of Safari's rendering.

They specialise in Webkit and embedded devices. Webkit is only seen on embedded devices in nokia s60 browser, apple's safari and now their own Iris (that I know of). As Torch Mobile are the most experienced in Webkit solutions, it is not unreasonable to think Apple asked for help from them when creating their browser.

Note: I realise WebKit was forked (from KHTML) by Apple in 2002/3 but it didn't pick up until it was opensourced in mid 2005.