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How The New WebKit Browser Chooses What Transport to Use

change browser Back in the day BlackBerrys only had one browser if the were on a BES server. This slowly grew adding a new browser for WAP, BIS, and more recently for Wi-Fi. This got really confusing for users who had to select the one that they wanted by going into the options. For example, if you wanted to browse an internal website through your BES you had to change to the BES BlackBerry Browser. If you wanted to go connect over Wi-Fi you had to select the Wi-Fi hotspot browser.

While doing the review of the WebKit browser I noticed that RIM removed the option to choose the default browser and switch between browsers. Instead they replaced it with an automatic flow where it goes through the available transports in the following order according to this knowledgebase article.

  • Browser transport that the application programming interface (API) specifies
  • Browser transport that the BlackBerry MDS Browser Domains IT policy rule specifies
  • Browser transport that uses the BlackBerry Enterprise Server if the domain name does not include a period (.) or it is a private IP address
  • Direct Wi-Fi transport
  • Wi-Fi transport that uses the BlackBerry Enterprise Server
  • Browser transport that uses a USB connection to a computer
  • Wireless network transport that uses the BlackBerry Internet Service
  • Wireless network transport that uses the BlackBerry Enterprise Server
  • Browser transports based on the order in the browser configuration records

BES administrators at secure companies and organizations that want all communication to go over the BES might have to change their policy now to accommodate this. Still it is kind of nice that RIM took this confusion away from users.

What do you guys think of RIM’s priority order? I found it interesting that it prefers BIS over BES for the transport if the IT policy does not specify otherwise.

PS: I also noticed that RIM removed the ability to change how your browser identifies itself to a webserver (Firefox, IE, etc). Not sure why they took that out…

2 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Auto switching of browser modes is much better… A lot of people didn’t even understand the whole hotspot/internet setting.

  2. Auto is better though like you I’m very surprised BIS is higher priority than BES, especially with all the security brouhaha lately.

    I guess they took out the ID change since with Webkit you shouldn’t really need to change it. Or so they think.

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