Skyfire started out as a gecko based web browser for mobile devices. Similar to Opera Mobile it uses a proxy server to get your requests, and can do some data masaging.

The big plus for Skyfire has always been flash video rendering. Since they do stuff with the data before sending it to you they can do some file conversion on the proxy server. This means they send the proper media type to the browser, thus allowing “flash video” on devices that can’t really do that.

I tried Skyfire on my Windows Mobile device several years ago, and it was just ok. I think I ended up sticking with IE5 for WinMo.

Recently I got an iPad and noticed that Skyfire was available for it. The browser string claims it’s webkit now, but I haven’t researched that any. Perhaps only the iP*d version uses webkit.

It did indeed play video that Safari won’t. When you go to a page with video on it you click a “discover video” button, and it shows you videos available. You pick one and it says “Please wait about 20 seconds”, and the time is pretty accurate. After that the video opens full screen in the iPad’s media player.

Skyfire also does a bunch of other stuff I really don’t care about like Facebook and Twitter integration.

The one feature that I consider to be “killer” is full screen. With one tap you can get rid of everything that isn’t web page. All the buttons, bars, etc go away. This is particularly nice for slideshows, showing off the site to someone, etc.

The app cost $5 I think. I’m almost certainly not going to use it as my primary browser, there’s a lot of extra cruft on the screen, and features I just don’t care about. On the other hand, I really really like the full screen aspect. I’m not sure I’d buy it again or not.

You can read more about it on the Skyfire page.

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