Windows Phone 7 to work with Third-Party IE based browsers

Yesterday a Windows Phone application called “Browser Plus” was released on to the Windows Phone marketplace, and even covered by a number of media websites. The application has been built off code from Internet Explorer for Windows Phone 7 and contains a number of improvements and tweaks.

According to Wpcentral, who have used the shell-add-on, “Browser Plus” brings tabbed browsing to Windows Phone 7 as well as a private mode which allows users to hide their history from other users. After downloading the application we have also found built-in google search and a reader view, which reformats web pages to suit Windows Phone 7 better. The browser is not without issues, as users cannot save favourites when using it, though this is something that could change in future versions.

Although this does not mean that there will be a release of stand-alone browsers such as Opera and Chrome on the Windows Phone Marketplace anytime soon, it does show that Microsoft is willing to allow third party browsers to be posted. Although this is as long as they are built on Internet Explorer code.

Expect to see many third-party browsers hitting the Windows Phone marketplace over the coming months now that “Browser Plus” has seen the light of day. It can only be good news for Windows Phone users who have felt a little let down by the lack of features in the built in browser associated with the operating system.

“Browser Plus” can be purchased on the Windows Phone Marketplace for £0.79/$0.99

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17 Comments

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Hm... I was pretty sure that Mobile IE in WP7 had support for tabbed browsing built in...

Yep, just checked the emulator and it's there... So, perhaps the article should be updated to reflect features that are in the browser?

M_Lyons10 said,
Hm... I was pretty sure that Mobile IE in WP7 had support for tabbed browsing built in...

Yep, just checked the emulator and it's there... So, perhaps the article should be updated to reflect features that are in the browser?

The difference is that these tabs are always on the top of the browser. pretty useless honestly.

andrewbares said,

The difference is that these tabs are always on the top of the browser. pretty useless honestly.

Oh really? That's worse than the way it's done in the standard mobile IE... I don't want any screen real estate wasted with something I only need every so often...

Silly.

Thanks for the info.

Opera sure whines like Oprah and thinks they are relevant like Oprah, I can see how they got mixed up.

I kid, i kid... simmer before you flame... who am I kidding, flame away!

thealexweb said,
So the 3rd party browsers will be using IE7's rendering engine to

The Mobile IE built into WP7 really isn't that bad honestly. From what I've seen and played with, it's definitely competent (Though I'm sure it will improve over time as any browser really can). Though I do miss the Opera Speed Dial honestly.

M_Lyons10 said,

The Mobile IE built into WP7 really isn't that bad honestly. From what I've seen and played with, it's definitely competent (Though I'm sure it will improve over time as any browser really can). Though I do miss the Opera Speed Dial honestly.


Well, I wouldn't be surprise if somebody make an ie shell with speed dial.

Although this does not mean that there will be a release of stand-alone browsers such as Oprah and Chrome on the Windows Phone Marketplace anytime soon, it does show that Microsoft are willing to allow third party browsers to be posted. Although this is as long as they are built on Internet Explorer code.
Oprah browser huh?

And nowhere does it state that other browser engines can't be used on WP7...it requires native code but developers can request that if they feel their app needs it.

Although this does not mean that there will be a release of stand-alone browsers such as Oprah and Chrome on the Windows Phone Marketplace anytime soon, it does show that Microsoft are willing to allow third party browsers to be posted. Although this is as long as they are built on Internet Explorer code.

Whoa, there's a browser called Oprah?? Okay so this sounds really cool though.

Rudy said,
iPhone has quite a few 3rd party browsers but they all use the built in safari engine

Well except Opera which got away with hosting the engine on their servers...
You not allowed to have any kind of code interpreter that isn't build in to iOS in you app or something i think

Either way, the safari engine is webkit (also used in chrome) which also happens to get a 100% score in the Acid 3 test (does any other engine do that? FF4 gets to 99) so it's not like they could get much better...

Being stuck with IE based engine though, yuck... WP7 even runs an older version of IE too...

Leonick said,

Well except Opera which got away with hosting the engine on their servers...
You not allowed to have any kind of code interpreter that isn't build in to iOS in you app or something i think

Either way, the safari engine is webkit (also used in chrome) which also happens to get a 100% score in the Acid 3 test (does any other engine do that? FF4 gets to 99) so it's not like they could get much better...

Being stuck with IE based engine though, yuck... WP7 even runs an older version of IE too...

In the end the Opera solution is still being displayed through Safari. Yes the page is downloaded from Opera is specially encoded to be displayed a certain way but on the device it's still Safari (WebKit)

Leonick said,

Either way, the safari engine is webkit (also used in chrome) which also happens to get a 100% score in the Acid 3 test (does any other engine do that? FF4 gets to 99) so it's not like they could get much better...

I don't mean to sound rude, but Acid 3 should never be used to judge the up-to-dateness or quality of a layout engine. There are actually some technologies being tested in it that the W3C recommend shouldn't be implemented, such as SVG fonts.

Leonick said,

Well except Opera which got away with hosting the engine on their servers...
You not allowed to have any kind of code interpreter that isn't build in to iOS in you app or something i think

Either way, the safari engine is webkit (also used in chrome) which also happens to get a 100% score in the Acid 3 test (does any other engine do that? FF4 gets to 99) so it's not like they could get much better...

Being stuck with IE based engine though, yuck... WP7 even runs an older version of IE too...

Well, it's a superset of IE 7, meaning they've added features onto that. They are now working on getting features from IE 9 into WP7 from what I understand.