RIM intros new BlackBerry browser to rival iPhone's Safari

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from the Today @ PC World blog at PCWorld.com.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion on Tuesday introduced a new browser for its devices, which runs on WebKit, the rendering engine behind Apple’s Safari browser. The New BlackBerry browser is touted as easier and faster to use; it will be available later this year.

The Internet browser on BlackBerry devices has been lagging behind competitors such as Google Android, Palm’s WebOS and Apple’s iPhone. But faced with consumer pressure, Research In Motion last year bought Torch Mobile, a browser-design firm, to pursue its competitors in the race for the best mobile browser.

The new WebKit-based BlackBerry browser scored 100 percent in the Web-rendering Acid 3 test; it can handle AJAX, CSS and HTML5. The browser can also pan, zoom and scroll through Websites loaded, and RIM claims that it’s more network-efficient than other mobile browsers.

Last year it was rumoured that the new BlackBerry browser would support Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight, though this wasn’t mentioned in Tuesday’s announcement. Adobe announced this week that it will launch the AIR platform for the Google Android OS, and RIM devices are expected to be next on the list.

RIM has been very allusive though on availability details for its new browser, which is expected sometime later this year. It is unknown yet whether it will come as part of an updated BlackBerry OS or whether it will come as a downloadable upgrade from its website or the BlackBerry App Word.

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