When we last wrote about the Skyfire Alpha program for BlackBerry, someone inside the program had leaked the browser files for all to download. Skyfire quickly cut off the leaked users but they’re back to Alpha testing.
The latest version, 3.5, has some great improvements, one of which being that you can set Skyfire to the default BlackBerry browser. This is something that users have been asking about for a long time with other 3rd party browsers. You will also be able to download files from the browser to your device.
Here is what the company had to say:
“As you are aware we temporarily closed the Blackberry Alpha. We planned for a certain number of users on our Alpha system that was quickly exceeded with the leak of the client outside the Alpha community. Please stick to the understanding of the Alpha program and NDA – it is NOT for open distribution. It just creates hassle for all people involved and spoils the experience for our Alpha participants.
This Alpha 3.5 is still targeted for Blackberry Bold mainly firmware 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 devices. , Feel free to try out the build as well on Blackberry 8900 and 5.0.xx firmware versions of Bold.”
What got removed in Alpha 3.5 (vs. Alpha 3.1):
- Stream Mode: We are actively working on an alternate method to provide streaming for Blackberry that will provide better performance and reduces the number of errors during streaming. This work has not been concluded yet. In the meantime we removed the existing stream mode. Stay tuned!
Thus please focus feedback for Alpha 3.5 on page load experience and basic browsing vs. the media experience.
What’s new in Alpha 3.5
- Inline Text Entry: You can now edit/enter form elements directly within the page, without being interrupted by a dialog box. Makes it more direct, convenient and retains the context.
- Click-to Call: The Blackberry client now will utilize tags in websites that trigger a phone call, when clicked (e.g. callto: and tel: links). You have to confirm before the call is initiated.
- Set as Default Browser: when set, links will open Skyfire
- Downloading of Files: you can now invoke the download of files to your device.
- Improved Scrolling: Further tweaking since the last Alpha.
- Reduced Checkerboard occurrences
- Alpha limit: We implemented a simple mechanism to limit the number of new users in our system. Once reached you see a message. If you encounter this and are part of this Alpha group then please contact us.
Known bugs in this Alpha:
- Clear cookies: When you clear cookies in advanced settings it will not work. Will be addressed in the next release.
- Inline Text: We are seeing several issues.
- Sometimes old text is visible (Issue 331 & 409), when re-entering text box, the cursor is positioned at the beginning of the text field (Issue 333).
- Download: timeout when downloading large files (Issue 435)”