Star Browser for Symbian evolves, serious Web alternative?
Star Browser, last covered here on AAS, has now been signed it seems. Moreover, there's a major new version with a changelog as long as your arm. A serious competitor for Web and Opera/Opera Mini? Over to you, AAS and Symbian enthusiasts, let's evaluate it!
From the official description for Star Browser:
Star Browser is a colourful and innovative QML/Qt powered browser, it comes with Unlimited Bookmarks, Customizable Homepage, User Sharing, a wide range of excellent user settings, Special Web search Area, 100% Fullscreen mode, Browsing History, ScreenShot Ability, Local File Access and last but not least the the UI can be changed in lots of ways from a large range of colours.
Here are the main changes, from the launch post for the new version (there are more listed, if you click through):
Much improved User Interface,
- Old browsing UI gone, now all features are accessible from the one big Menu (Slide Right for more options)
- URL input available from Menu,
- New Menu has some characteristics, Landscape/E6 shows all Items in one go, a Button with a white ring indicates that Button has a long press feature, A white fade over the Button indicates a enabled feature.
- Symbian Qt Quick components replaced with darker backgrounds for better look and for less battery usage with in view.
- VGA devices (E6, 702T) now support the UI better, massive shout out to Matthew kühl for all of his testing, helped me out a hell of a lot, Menu Button now shows page loading progress, and had long press features, Progress Bar is thinner and less intrusive.
- UI Colour customisation has being taken to yet another level
- The Search Area has undergone a complete revamp. You now have two ToolBars, Bottom consists of Close, Search History and Quick Search Engine changing.
- You can now also press the Enter key on your qwerty or keyboard to search. Search Suggestions have also being added, minimum 3 Characters.
- I've re-organised Settings to make them easier to navigate, and faster to open.
- You are now told to press a Bottom Tab to begin since some users where confused about how to work it.
- Added Private Browsing - Remove Browsing History on close
- Background file downloading added (no progress indicators, just download started/completed banners, you can choose save location and file name)
- Application now catches Red Key and Task Manager close events allowing the browser to fully utilise its function on close features.
- Share Area now opens Choice in Star Browser itself
- Open in default browser choices now launch in the user selected and not Nokia browser all the time.
- RSS Feeds Area added, very basic at the moment, simple add and open, you can have as many as you like as well.
- Simply click on a story to open the stories page.
- Small update manager added (located in Settings-About- the Right ToolButton on the Toolbar
- (This is only available to Belle Refresh, Belle Feature Pack 1 and 2 users, don't ask for lower support because even I don't know why it won't work on lower than Qt 4.8 builds)
The UI is certainly different, with the bottom pop-up control panel. Some screens of Star Browser in action:
In use, the browser seemed a bit sluggish on my test sites (I was using a 808 on Delight firmware, if that makes a difference?), but I suspect more data points are needed for the developer - hence the news post here on AAS. Please feedback below - or directly to the developer - in order to improve Star Browser further.
You can download Star Browser here in the web-based Store on Symbian Developers. Note that if you previously had the unsigned v1.5 installed, you'll have to remove this manually first.
Published by Steve Litchfield at 16:52 UTC, July 10th