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Skyfire receives $5 million in funding to grow BlackBerry platform and more

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Skyfire for BlackBerry

Skyfire has announced they have received $5 million in funding. The funds will top off their Series B from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Matrix Partners and Trinity Ventures. The company will use the funds to support new smartphone platforms beyond Windows Mobile, Symbian and BlackBerry, as well as utilizing their unique technology for solutions beyond the browser.

It’s not obvious yet how RIM’s acquisition of Torch Mobile and their plans to update the browser will affect third party browsers such as Opera Mini and Skyfire. It’s possible that once RIM updates their browser, there will no longer be a need for third party browsers, as the experience would be adequate for the general user. On the other hand, third party browsers have been innovating in the space and there is something to be said for being the first to market. There may always be a need for third party browsers to deliver a browsing experience better than that of the native browser.

Open source app porting for BlackBerry, iPhone, WinMo etc.

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rhodes

Rhomobile has launched a platform that many developers may find useful: an open source porting solution. The open source product is called Rhodes and it allows developers to write once and have their native app run on iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian.

The open source smartphone framework allows developers to write once using HTML to simultaneously create native applications for all smartphones including iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian and Android. Rhodes creates full featured native apps (not web apps) with advanced capabilities and access to functions including GPS, camera and PIM.

The Rhodes framework is now available at RhoMobile.com/download

Sneak peek at Documents to Go on BlackBerry

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Documents to GoJosep recently posted some screenshots of the upcoming DataViz Documents to Go announced at Lotusphere. Documents to Go has been letting Palm, Windows Mobile and Symbian users edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files for awhile now – about time it comes to BlackBerry, eh? After this first step, maybe we can look forward to wireless syncing to desktop documents sometime soon. Still, we can look forward to Documents to Go being bundled in with OS 4.5 due mid-’08.

New software offers context-based mobile web browsing

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Contextual Menus5o9, a company aiming to revolutionize mobile web browsing, has let us know that they’re working on support for BlackBerry now that Windows Mobile and Symbian platforms are just about done. Last week we got a comment from someone telling us how their software was bypassing data rates for LBS services, so we were obviously a little curious in what they had to offer. After having a lengthy chat with Peter from 5o9, he laid out how their server-side module did a lot more than just LBS. The idea is that owners put a little something called Mod_Mobile on their servers and put some code in the header of their page. (Techies might remember the name… 5o9 are the same guys that made mod_gzip). Users with the browser plug-in MobileMe installed then have site navigation shunted over to their browser menus.
But the real exciting thing is how MobileMe remembers who you are and changes your browsing experience…

File transfer on JiveTalk

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BeeJiveFor anyone using this great little meta-chat client, BeeJive is working on a file transfer system, available for preview over here. Right now, it’s only supporting microSD-installed 8100, 8300 and 8800 BlackBerrys, but “JiveTalk also has plans to release their popular software to other devices like Windows Mobile, Symbian UIQ, and have whispered that they’re actively looking at supporting the Apple iPhone.” BGR has some screens of the new software, so go take a look.