One of the biggest complaints about the BlackBerry is that the web browsing experience bites the big one when compared to Apple iPhone or Google Android. Research In Motion is trying to fix that problem with a new Webkit-based browser in BlackBerry 6 and the company is showing off some of the new browser’s features in a blog post.
The first thing long-time BlackBerry browser users will notice is a streamlined start page which should make it easier to get where you’re going. As you would expect, once you begin typing there will be a drop-down menu for associated search terms in your browsing history or bookmarks. In a bid to save time, you’ll be able to save bookmarks directly to your home page and it will look like this:
The new Webkit browser in BlackBerry 6 will finally have support for tabbed browsing, and the browser option screen has also been tweaked. There’s also a Social Feeds app which will make it easier to keep track of your RSS feeds and social networks.
Perhaps most importantly, RIM is promising that the content viewing will be much improved. After tooling around on the Motorola Droid X for about a month, it was a pain in the you-know-what to browse with a BlackBerry Tour because of how the browser formatted content. I found the zooming to just be completely off for how I wanted to view the pages.
This should be a problem of the past, as RIM said:
Significant effort has been made to make panning and zooming in on content much smoother. For touch screen-enabled BlackBerry smartphones, we have enabled pinch to zoom controls, and for all smartphones with trackpad navigation controls, users can quickly and smoothly zoom by holding ALT while using the trackpad.
The first device to launch with the Webkit-based browser in BlackBerry 6 will be the BlackBerry Torch but we only had a few minutes with it during our hands-on time Luckily, the Torch is on its way to Simon’s hands, so look for an exhaustive breakdown of the Webkit-based browser in the near future.