Nokia Releases Safari Powered Browser

Nokia has completed a new Web browser for Series 60 based Symbian phones, which is built upon the WebCore and JavaScriptCore components of Apple's Safari browser. The result is the smallest open source rendering engine for smartphones that can access standard Web sites and those optimized for mobile devices.

In June, Nokia announced intentions to build its browser using the Safari Web Kit code base, which Apple has offered under an open source license. The technology was originally based on KHTML and KJS from KDE's "Konqueror" open source project. Nokia has promised to contribute its work back to the community.

Citing research that shows mobile browsing accounts for 60 percent of smartphone data traffic, Nokia says the release provides a much-needed "True Web experience."

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The browser includes pop-up blocking, visual history with miniature views of Web pages, text search, RSS support, and even the ability to load DHTML and AJAX Web applications.

"The new Web browser is poised to make Web browsing fast, intuitive, and more enjoyable for both consumers and enterprise users," said Heikki Heinaro, Nokia's vice president of S60 Applications.

But current Nokia phone users shouldn't hold their breath for an upgrade.

The new Web browser will only be available within the S60 3rd Edition operating system that ships on new phones. A Nokia spokesperson tells BetaNews that the company's new E-series and N-series models, including the N71, N80 and N92 multimedia phones, will include the browser beginning next year.

The KDE Project praised Nokia's work on the browser, saying, "It is a testament to the value of the open source community's work, and will stimulate further innovation in KHTML and mobile applications. We look forward to facilitating this innovation through further collaboration."

Nokia's browser is one of a number of new initiatives aimed at the open source community. The company recently yielded its patent portfolio for use in the Linux kernel and is planning to launch the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet, which is built entirely on Linux, next year.

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