February 11, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
If your first smartphone was Android-based, you probably don’t know much about Skyfire. But for those of us who migrated from Windows Mobile or S60, you know it was one of the best web browser alternatives for mobile phones. Skyfire hopes to do the same on Android, and they’ve taken the first step in that process by purchasing kolbysoft, the development company behind Steel.
Skyfire is popular not only for having a great browser, but also for making it possible to quickly load pages and multimedia content. It’s especially useful because it renders from a server and supports Flash, Silverlight, andQuicktime streaming video, making it easier to watch content that typically isn’t loadable in default browsers.
The acquisition of kolbysoft was about securing talent according to Skyfire’s CEO:
By adding kolbysoft’s talent to Skyfire, we’ll be able to fuse the best of Skyfire’s famed cloud-computing multimedia capabilities with the Webkit browser movement to create a better hybrid model for Android. Steel has been the most acclaimed browser in the Android Marketplace, adding features atop Webkit. Together, we’ll be able to do so much more.
This could mean we’ll have yet another browser to choose from in the future. Skyfire will have to switch its approach for developing on Android, but we could finally see some type of decent video options on the phone.