Skyfire 4.0 browser is one of the native mobile browser alternatives available in the Android Market. Fortunately, the Skyfire 4.0 is available for free unlike its iOS counterpart. Skyfire 4.0 for Android 2.0 or higher devices brings following features to the screen – flash video, social sharing, built-in feed reader, user-agent switching, Facebook quick view and Twitter quick view.
Loading up the Skyfire for first time will take you through initial formalities to accept the terms and conditions along with lengthy explanation of features packed in. Pressing Next button three to four times is bit tedious so it would’ve been great if the developers would have placed the list of features more appropriately than in the first run.
Skyfire loads with a list of featured sites that include variety of popular websites from NYTimes to Yahoo. But this list of featured sites can’t be edited and no new links can be added there.
By default, the Skyfire offers full screen browsing and lengthy articles will appear as if you will have to scroll endlessly. The bottom Menu bar dubbed as the “Skybar” has fourteen different items with each offering a distinct function. For instance, the Video button offers links to the videos related to the being watched in the web browser. Users can swipe from right to left on the Skybar to explore different menu items offered.
People who love browsing and sharing links with friends can immediately tap the Like button in the bottom-right corner. User will have to login to Facebook just once. Similarly the Facebook community comes to the aid when you tap the Popular button in the Skybar. For instance, if you are just done reading about the a recipe then tapping the Popular button will take you to most popular recipe website/page that has been recommended (Like-d) by the Facebook user community.
At times, you are not comfortable watching ads and loading several elements bearing web page takes a while. The User-agent switching button just below the Address bar offers user to choose the page to load as Mobile (Android) or full version (Desktop). That will help you save precious seconds and also the data connection usage.
Facebook and Twitter QuickViews offer single touch access to the respective social networks in an overlay style page. Fireplace Reader is a filtered view to access all your Twitter and Facebook feeds which also include images, links and videos. No need to visit the web page or load the app. Access your social feeds right there from the Skybar.
One of the novel features is the “Related Ideas” that analyses the current webpage and offers the user with the search results based on the topics covered in the previous webpage. When it comes to testing, the Skyfire 4.0 scores the same 95 out of 100 marks in acid3.acidtests.org when compared to the native WebKit based Android browser.
In terms of cosmetic look, the Skyfire may appear over loaded but you can always hide the Skybar and make the best of tab browser button (under Address bar) to jump between the tabs. Filled with features, the Skyfire 4.0 is meant for bit advanced web enthusiasts who seek full-fledged web-browser like experience on their Android smartphones.
Download the Skyfire 4.0 from Android Market for your Android Smartphone if you are looking for an all-in-one style user experience.