Browsers on the Move

Mini versions of your favorite browsers that will go wherever you do.

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You may be perfectly happy with whatever web browser came with your smartphone, but you're not necessarily restricted to using only that browser. Opera Mobile (opera.com) is available for phones running Windows Mobile and S60 operating systems. The program typically costs $24 (though the 9.5 Beta version was released as freeware). Opera Mobile 9.5 ups the ante with improved speeds, pan and zoom functions, and a revamped tabbed browsing experience. Opera Mini is already a popular choice for a browser that works on most cell phones and not just smartphones.

Skyfire is also a compelling new contender in the mobile browser market. Its proxy technology makes it possible to closely replicate the look of a desktop browser on a mobile phone's screen, and smart zooming features boost the usability of the application. The free application is particularly handy when it comes to rich media, such as online videos and audio, because Skyfire servers do all the heavy lifting behind the scenes, so even hefty media files load quickly.

In another sign of the ongoing battle to win over mobile web browsers, Mobile Firefox, or Fennec, recently debuted as the mobile counterpart to the popular full-size Firefox. Its free price tag and familiar features will appeal to Mozilla fans. Expect it to be an emerging heavyweight in the increasingly competitive mobile browser division.

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