Let's take a quick look at the new Skyfire 2.0 browser for Android, shall we? Full page rendering? Check. Flash video? Check. Bells and whistles? Check and check. Our quick verdict: So long as you're not worried about any privacy concerns regarding proxy browsers, this could easily become your main browser.

Update: Re-recorded the video to fix an error or three.


Reader comments

Hands on with the Skyfire 2.0 Android browser


My understanding is that Skyfire has dropped the Blackberry beta and will not develop a browser for the Blackberry platform. Having been on Blackberry for many years I was looking forward to Skyfire, but when I heard that... that was pretty much it for me. Android their I went!

It seems like it is syncing with the same database that the default browser syncs with. I created a bookmark in Skyfire and it showed up in the built-in browser.

trying it now on my Nexus, i like it! the video playback is a great feature, but once i get the full flash, i will uninstall this!

Hey, you don't seem to really be understanding how SkyFire for Android works. You said in the video to remember, none of this is actually being rendered on your phone, it's all on servers. That's how OTHER Skyfire browsers work, but not Androids. TechCrunch explained it simply:

"In this release, they’re building on top of WebKit rather than building their own browsing core from the ground up. Unlike all other versions of Skyfire, the page itself doesn’t go through a proxy. Standard content goes straight from the web server to the handset — only things that need to be transcoded go through Skyfire’s proxy."

It's the reason Javascript actually behaves as it should, or text is able to re-wrap to zooming instantly, unlike Opera. Webkit is at work here.

Great video Phil... love that you do videos and you're just trying it out for yourself. I like to see how difficult the startup process can be for whatever it is that's being shown... in this case, SkyFire.

Tried it, and was not impressed.

First site I went to was Hulu. I tried to check out the last episode of House. The video button worked but Hulu said Sorry, can't play on your platform. Then I tried CBS.com and tried to hit the last episode of the Amazing Race. The Website said no flash and the Video button did nothing.

Given that those two sites are 95% of my streaming video, If skyfire can't render the video then I have no reason to keep Skyfire.

Hulu doesn't want you looking at Hulu on anything except your computer. Ask PS3 owners. They had Flash in their system's web browser. Soon enough, Hulu said "NO!" and blocked PS3 owners from viewing Hulu.
So don't poo-poo this just because it can't view Hulu... you'll be lucky to find something that can.

Check out TV.com in the market. TV.com is CBS's app in the marketplace.

Skyfire isn't going to provide 100% of web content on it's own...it's just another tool in our attempt to get 100% of web content.

I'm loving it

Does anyone know how to get that calendar list view that he had on the home screen at the very beginning of the video? I've been looking for something like that for forever. Not just having the calendar there, but how it breaks down the events over the next 3 days. Thanks for the help!

Phil, how are you able to show your battery percentage in the battery level indicator in the notification window at the top. How do you manage it?

A little choppy but at least multitouch actually works on this browser. I can't stand that websites don't autoformat when I pinch to zoom but work fine with double tap.

I tried it on my Sprint Hero factory defaults, 1.5 version and it kept crashing, also the pinch to zoom did not work. It ran very slow compared with the stock web browser, I thought it might help opening pages up but it took longer. Double tap did not work as well. Unstalled it.

Iuse to listen to mixtape streams from datpiff.com with skyfire on my windows samsung omnia..for some reason it won't work on my moto droid

Very choppy, very slow, very buggy. I understand it's a Beta release and the features that ultimately one would assume are going to work perfectly are very cool, but I absolutely cannot use this browser at the moment. It's light years behind the stock browser in terms of speed and page rendering. I'll keep it on my phone for the updates, but I'm going back to stock for now.

Don't know if anyone else experienced this but I was unable to use the mobile version of Google Reader. Every time I clicked on an article it pulled up a new page that was titled about and was blank, instead of the article expanding within the original reader page like it does on the stock browser. I even tried toggling the full page/android button. Weird.