Skyfire, the mobile browser that touts itself as translating the desktop web browsing experience to mobile phones, has added a useful new feature today: Activity streams. The browser now has a default area that lets you pipe in articles from your favorite sites as well as friends’ activity from Facebook and Twitter.
This feature is part of the new Skyfire version 0.9 being launched just ahead of the Mobile World Congress taking place in Spain next week. Perhaps even better is that you can push data the other way and easily share web pages to your Facebook and Twitter streams by using the mobile browser’s share menu. And you can even update your status on these services right from this stream page.
While Skyfire has made a name for itself by offering a great way to view the most popular online video format, Flash, on you mobile phone, this new version of the browser is also focused on delivering a better text-reading experience. The software now renders pages so as to remove unnecessary side scroll bars, which can limit the reading experience.
The addition of activity streams and a streamlined feed reader are good ideas. On most mobile phones, browsing the Internet as you would on a desktop is still a bit of a pain, so finding a way to more easily display the information you really want to see in one place makes sense. And as status updates become more important to the social web, having this functionality built into the browser is a solid idea as well.
Skyfire currently works on phones running either the Windows Mobile operating system or Symbian. This new release comes at a time when Mozilla is gaining buzz about its Firefox mobile web browser, known as “Fennec.” On the desktop, the Firefox browser has quickly risen to challenge Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. It now holds over 20 percent of the market. But some early reports of the latest “milestone release” of Fennec have not been good.
Skyfire raised a $13 million round last year, and $4.8 million before that.