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Why Cant RIM Overhaul Their Browser? WebKit is OpenSource…

Home Forums BlackBerry News Why Cant RIM Overhaul Their Browser? WebKit is OpenSource…

This topic contains 1 reply, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Ronen Halevy 7 years, 3 months ago.

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    Ronen Halevy
    Keymaster
    Posts: 2,906

    failing_back_to_square_one The browser on my BlackBerry has been a disappointment in the last few years. It works decently but it chokes on even old technologies like JavaScript. RIM has been trying to slowly update the browser to support new standards like SQLite, Gears, CSS, AJAX, and more but it still lags light years behind newer mobile browsers based on WebKit.

    There is a reason the iPhone, Android, Symbian S60, and Palm Pre all use WebKit as the basis for their web browser. It kicks the pants off the BlackBerry browser every time it is pitted against it. Opera and Skyfire are interesting alternatives but they do not integrate tightly with the OS and both are proprietary and are hard to develop specifically for them.

    The crazy part is that RIM is already using another companies technology in their browser. Parts of their browser come from 4thpass which does not even exist anymore since it was bought out by Motorola. They also seem just fine with using Java which is another OpenSource standard/technology. So why not WebKit???

    Personally I think this is because RIM is stuck in a cycle of throwing good money after bad. The browser was great back in 2000 compared to regular WAP browsers but it has barely inched along since then. It still chokes so badly on JavaScript that it is disabled by default on many OS builds. This is the same JavaScript standard that powers AJAX which RIM is pushing as a solution for browser based applications!

    I think that RIM has quite a bit invested in the browser with backend optimization, security, & intranet access. On the other hand they are struggling so far behind the competition in this regard that they really need to shape up if they want to compete in the future. The web is slowly becoming an expected feature on smartphones and the pitiful updates that RIM has added in OS 5.0 are just not going to cut it! Maybe at least offer a alternative browser for browsing the web that can be integrated with the OS to do things as simple as open links? I just hate being embarrassed by how far behind RIM has fallen from the competition when it comes to web browsing. The only company it is still beating is Windows Mobile and that is just because Microsoft is stuck with IE.

    So what do you think? Is the BlackBerry browser a lost cause? Or do you think it is salvageable?

    Why Cant RIM Overhaul Their Browser? WebKit is OpenSource…

    #179854

    Ronen Halevy
    Keymaster
    Posts: 2,906

    Agreed! RIM is starting to run into the same legacy issues that have bogged down Microsoft for so long. Unfortunately, I don’t see RIM scrapping their system and building a new Linux based OS (things like this usually don’t happen). This means the newer rivals like Apple, Android, and Palm’s WebOS will always be more innovative than RIM. I would expect that Google’s new Chrome OS will also be much more innovative than Windows 7 for the same reason.

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