Nokia Unveils Safari-Based Browser for S60 Smartphone Platform

Nokia announced Wednesday a new browser based on Appleis Safari Web Kit for its S60 Smartphone platform. The browser is being made available to S60 licensees for implementation in S60 phones. Nokia chose Appleis open source Safari Web Kit for the project, calling it " the industryis smallest and fastest open source full Web rendering engine for mobile devices."

"Nokiais approach to browsing on smartphones in the 3G era is to offer a premium solution for content discovery and download, with equal access both to Web sites on the Internet and mobile optimized content. The new Web browser is poised to make Web browsing fast, intuitive, and more enjoyable for both consumers and enterprise users," Heikki Heinaro, Vice President, S60 Applications, Nokia Technology Platforms, said in a statement.

Philip Schiller, Appleis senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, added a voice from Apple in todayis announcement, saying: "Safari Web Kitis blazing performance, efficient code base and support for open standards make it an ideal open source technology for projects like the new Web browser for S60. Weire delighted that Nokia can take advantage of Apple innovation and our commitment to open source development to bring a new Web experience to S60 smartphones."

The selection of another Apple technology being chosen for the mobile phone market represents another step forward for the company. The mobile phone market is a large one, and those carriers and platform developers who have chosen technologies such as QuickTime, software like Safari, or services such as iTunes move Apple, and the Mac platform by extension, further into the mainstream.

According to Nokia, the browser has the following features:

  • Preservation of the original page layout, presented just as the Web site designers intended;
  • Easy navigation of Web pages through page miniatures, reducing the amount of scrolling;
  • Pop-up blocking, enhanced start page, and simplified menus;
  • Visual History, an easy-to-use back function, showing miniature views of previous pages;
  • Text Search, which works as you type, taking you directly to the interesting part of the page;
  • Web Feeds, providing easy access to RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds from Web sites, blogs, and news stories;
  • Dynamic HTML, supporting dynamic menus, rollovers, and scripted behavior such as AJAX applications;
  • Extensive support of industry standards including W3Cis HTML, XHTML 1.0, DOM, CSS and SVG-Tiny; other Web standards such as SSL and ECMAScript; and Netscape style plug-ins including Flash Lite and audio

The KDE Projectis KHTML open source rendering engine, upon which Safari Web Kit itself was built, was also given attribution in todayis announcement, and Nokia also stressed that the open source nature of the project would allow third party developers and S60 licensees to further enhance the browser with new development.