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BlackBerry Webkit Browser Leaks Blocked by Service Providers

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Leaks of BlackBerry devices running the latest OS 6 have been popping up a lot recently but none of them have had the latest Webkit browser. We have also seen some OS 6 hybrids circulating that also haven’t included the latest browser. The reason is that it is completely controlled by your service books, and these devices haven’t had the latest browser pushed to them.

It seems that there isn’t much of a difference when it comes to the java files. After taking apart the BlackBerry Clamshell 9670 OS 6.0.0.31, it seems to be missing the net_rim_bb_browser_rendering_lib COD file. In the end, even if OS 6 were to get leaked to the masses, it wouldn’t have the Webkit browser because it would have to be activated by the service provider.

RIM has obviously wised-up to the fact that these devices are available in the wild, and have used the service books to deactivate the Webkit browser on all but a very select and private group of devices. The OS 6 BlackBerrys we are seeing leaked are not the select group of devices with Webkit enabled.

Technical Details on Upcoming BlackBerry Webkit Browser in OS 6

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The new BlackBerry WebKit browser looks really awesome. We saw it in action back at Mobile World Congress 2010 and a quick Acid3 test revealed exciting performance enhancements (100/100). In general, the new native browser will have faster page rendering and script processing with the help of the SunSpider benchmark suite and jQuery. For those who don’t know, jQuery is a JavaScript library that simplifies working with events, effects and Ajax functions.
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RIM Demo the Upcoming WebKit BlackBerry Browser

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RIM have put up video demoing the WebKit browser that we’re expecting later this year and it looks really awesome so far. Mike Lazaridis was showing it off at MWC and it handles pages very smoothly. AJAX and JavaScripts run nicely in the browser and it scores a 100/100 on the ACID3 compliance test. The upcoming browser will support HTML 5, CSS3, DOM L3, Widgets and JIL Widgets. I can’t wait until this browser gets leaked so we can try it out for ourselves.

More Details About the Pearl 9100, Tour2, WebKit Browser and Dakota

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Yesterday, Technology Analyst at TD Securities Chris Umiastowski, confirmed RIM’s 3G Pearl 9100, Tour2, WebKit browser and a hybrid keyboard-touch screen device. He also hints that the May quarter will be significant, stating “there could be upside to our numbers for the May quarter.”

Chris also goes on to say the doesn’t expect the Pearl 9100 to be released until April and thinks it will be “a big success, just like the last Pearl.”

The same article goes on to say that the QWERTY, touchscreen hybrid may have an optical navigation pad and will be launched in the 3rd quarter. He also says the Tour2 is now in production and soon to be released to the market. Verizon is the key customer for this device, which will include WiFi and an optical trackpad.

I personally can’t wait until the “Dakota” launches. Hybrid devices are the best of both worlds. The big question I’m still looking to get answered, is whether RIM will drop SurePress.

What To Expect from BlackBerry OS 6 – WebOS and Java Hybrid?

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Blackberry Storm 2 widgets

When I was in Scandinavia meeting with Opera, along with the lucky BBCool reader who won the trip, I got to talking with them about RIM’s acquisition of Torch Mobile. The guys at Opera are really smart and gave me some insight into what a browser really is. A browser is really a combination of 50-80 mini apps, that all serve various functions such as understanding the HTML/CSS. WebKit is a core technology within the browser. There are other core technologies that can be used to build a Browser: Presto, Gecko, Trident etc.

The acquisition of Torch Mobile meant that RIM now controls a few of the developers who are contributors to WebKit’s source code. The Webkit platform, while Open Source, doesn’t allow just anyone to manipulate the base code. There is a relatively small group of contributors from Apple, Nokia, Google, various Universities, and now RIM.
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Job posting confirms WebKit browser for BlackBerry in development

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When we first saw the news that RIM purchased Torch Mobile, and they would have access to the Webkit open source code, it was somewhat officially confirmed that a WebKit browser was in development.

Well now we have more proof that this browser is in development as RIM has posted a job on LinkedIn, looking for someone with “expert knowledge in C++ programming.” According to the post, “the successful candidate will be working in a fast-paced, dynamic development environment to develop a WebKit-based browser for the BlackBerry Platform.”

[Via]