Skyfire have recently come out with a really outspoken and honest blog post regarding their development for BlackBerry. As most know, Skyfire have been developing a 3rd party browser for BlackBerry that will render all manner of media and compete with/complement the native browser. The browser works by rendering all the pages on their server, and then sending your device a picture of what you’re browsing. This circumvents the need to render it on the device.
BlackBerry users have been waiting for some time now, and it seems they’ll have to wait even longer. This is Skyfire’s explanation for skipping BlackBerry for now, and focusing on Android:
- We see Android as a fast-rising ecosystem, with a rich, totally open developer environment, a healthy app market and a healthy advertising and search ecosystem. The Android OS has a tremendous amount of interest from handset makers and carriers, and also has a strong need for making the explosion of video more network optimized (Skyfire’s wheelhouse).
I think there are a few issues at play here. First, RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry browser demo probably showed Skyfire that BlackBerry users won’t have such a large demand for a new browser. Second, what they’re saying has a lot of merit: the BlackBerry platform could be easier to develop for. In the end, this was an obvious business decision for Skyfire, and I’m curious to see how their cloud solutions complement the browser when it’s finally developed.
On a side note, I really hope they’re not correct when they say: “We understand it will be a long way from able to handle native Flash 10.1 and similar rich media plug-ins.”