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BOLT BlackBerry Browser now in public beta

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Bolt BlackBerry Browser

Throughout the many stages of the BOLT BlackBerry Browser private beta, we’ve had a hard time keeping up with the demand for invites to make sure every member of the BlackBerry Nation got a chance to kick the tires, so to speak. Thankfully, Bitstream has answered the call with a public beta of BOLT Browser version .86. To download the latest version for your BlackBerry, hit the link below. Don’t forget to check out our hands-on impressions as well.

Download BOLT BlackBerry Browser
BOLT BlackBerry Browser Hands-On Impressions

BlackBerry OS 4.6 features (Browser, iTunes Sync, Alarm, Spell Check)

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BlackBerry OS 4.6Who needs OS 4.5 when you can have OS 4.6? Of course, you’re going to have to wait until the BlackBerry Bold is released to get it, but we’re all going to buy one anyways, right?

We’ve got our hands on a top-level feature listing of OS 4.6 (due 2nd half of ’08) and it doesn’t seem to feature anything we didn’t already know about, but it tells us more about what we did. New stuff? Almost too much to name… The BlackBerry Browser will feature increased support of web standards, like AJAX and CSS 2.1, spell check is now continuous (finally!), files can now be downloaded via the browser… you’re just going to check out the pics yourself and tell us what you like the most.

(Ted! Ted! Ted! You are sooo getting a free tee shirt!)

More OS 4.6 info after the jump

WES Exhibitor Spotlight: Zumobi

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Zumobi logoZumobi is a really neat new widget application that aims to change the mobile web experience with the use of something they call Tiles. You can pick 16 Tiles from a list of hundreds, some of which are built by business while others are user-designed. The tiles range from showing your favorite blogs, to giving you weather conditions, to branded ones that let you watch or listen to clips from TV shows, to all manner of other things. The interface is very slick — check out the demo — and the software is free to boot. The only downside is that they don’t yet offer BlackBerry compatibility, but they’ll be releasing a public beta of the software at WES.

BlackBerry bandies blows in browser battle

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FisticuffsBlackBerry’s browser has stepped up to the plate for a round of fisticuffs in an InformationWeek comparative review. The contenders were the Palm Treo 755p, the BlackBerry 8300, the HTC Wing and (cue dramatic lightning) the iPhone. In the end, the iPhone ends up on top, citing big screen, full-bodied page viewing, and more prominently, eschewing the reliance on menu-based browsing as deciding factors. BlackBerry’s browser hasn’t ever received top marks for browsing, with most folks opting for Opera Mini instead. The potential for tabbed browsing in the next BlackBerry browser update is promising, but is that enough to make mobile web surfing an enjoyable rather than a bearable experience?

As much as phrases like “the interface is discoverable at a level almost below conscious thought” reek of Apple fanboyism, it can’t be denied that web browsing on an iPhone with swooshy finger motions makes sense for mobile, and chewing through long menus, a relic of the desktop interface, doesn’t.

There’s definite hope for BlackBerry breaking the mould, though.