BlackBerry WebKit Browser Video Demo First Look!

BlackBerry WebKit Browser
By Kevin Michaluk on 16 Feb 2010 08:21 am EST

The announced but not yet released WebKit-based BlackBerry web browser was shown off via video demo twice today at Mobile World Congress. Mike Lazaridis, RIM's Co-Founder and Co-CEO, gave it a minute of glory during the morning's general session, while an hour later it was Mike Kirkup, RIM's Director of Developer Relations, who gave a quick walk through of what's in store for the browser at the BlackBerry Developer Day at App Planet to those in attendance (video above).


Things are definitely looking promising here for us BlackBerry users, even when taking note of the fact the demo provided today was a recorded video vs. a live demo and you can see the browser was connected to WiFi vs. 3G. Getting data down to the BlackBerry fast has never been an issue for the BlackBerry web browser, rather it's the rendering of the page once that data is on the device. It seems the Torch Mobile folks that joined RIM were able to hit the ground running and the BlackBerry is rendering Javascript and pages A LOT faster than any other previous BlackBerry web browser. I'm not sure if RIM has any devices on hand at MWC with the WebKit browser installed but I'll do my best to get a minute of hands-on time with one if they do.

Original Video Demo File:

No word on roll out yet, but the sooner the better, that's for sure. Wouldn't it be nice if the rollout came along with an OS update that featured some significant UI updates? BlackBerry Heaven, that's what I'd call that. Stay tuned for more!

Reader comments

BlackBerry WebKit Browser Video Demo First Look!


Yeah it is. I got it on mine too, you can get them on Etsy. Also can't wait for this browser...Html5 support is huge

acid 3 results that are impressive

Blackberry webkit browser (mobile) -100
google chrome(pc) -100
firefox (pc) - barely 93
internet explorer(pc) - 20

I got the same with my Firefox and IE8. Surprisingly, my BB browser resulted in 26 beating out IE8! Seems a little odd.

This is good news!! Can't wait for the browser to roll out. It's the ONE thing that us BB users get killed on by others.

looks sweet. depending on the reviews when it gets out this might be the reason for me to get a berry

I can't wait for the browser to get released. IMO, that's the most important feature of BBs that needs improvement.

You know, I was interested in the 9700 launch but not excited because I'm a on CDMA. As I'm sure GSM people arent excited about the 9650. This is one thing about 90% of blackberry users will get excited about, more so than OS5, which doesn't feel that different than what was before. It's huge.
And, it runs pretty well on something that at least looks like a 9700, which hopefully means it will run on most of the OS5 devices.

Oooh My sweet loving BB!!! wow..
drooling all over myself.BB Webkit Browser + OS Update?!
I need not breakfast anymore. My soul just got well fed. lol
Is that Flash running?! or i'm day dreaming?

I read all the angry comments about the BESX, and now look, lo and behold, here's the webkit browser everyone cried about!

Just blowing off some steam, this browser looks sick, even tho browsing isn't a huge thing for me, I do browse quite a bit on my BB, this will be awesome.

I wanted this for the longest time! I need this now, please please please, leak it send it twit it fax it read updated!~

ALLLLLLLL thats left is some UI updates
I feel like ive betrayed RIM by drooling over Windows Mobile 7 series .
Some UI updates PLEASE RIM lolol

Looks amazing! I hope this would work on OS 5.0 in general and not only on their newest handsets. Would love to get this on my BlackBerry Bold 9000.

RIM failed us on OS 5.0 and have struggled for years now to make a decent browser. How long will this take to be released? Will they release it only on "new" BB's, forcing us into another round of buying with what we should have had in the first place? I'm skeptical.

No reason to believe that there is anything here that is not software. As such no reason to believe it won't work on current devices. That said Verizon's top of the line BlackBerry the 9630 still hasn't been upgraded to 5.0

RIM better get their act together fast. This is a nice 'demo' but let's get this soon. After the Windows phone 7 series demo yesterday, I'm thinking RIM needs a huge jump in the OS to not fall too far behind. Competition is heating up and RIM needs to show us they are still in the game. If Microsoft is changing their business phone view, maybe RIM needs to as well. They can keep one or two phones for business environments for secure reasons, and open up the platform for consumer phones.

Don't worry about Windows Phone 7. That platform is not doing well, and forcing manufactures to use their interface is a giant step backwards, and may scare off HTC who is their lifeblood at this point...

I agree currently it is not as popular without the help of HTC ui. After watching the new Zune like interface, I don't think they need HTC ui to help. I believe seeing the iphone, android and now windows7 systems, the future keeps moving towards a large screen touch enabled OS. I hope OS6 from RIM brings us some big reasons to stay with the brand.

Better than what they currently have, but still an inferior browser.

Looks quite a bit slower than other options out there.

Another RIM failure.

Im sorry I completely disagree with your opinion. To call this a "failure" is unwarranted. It looks just as fast as the android browser and Mobile Safari. Im really not sure what other options you are looking at because this browser really is on par with the other mobile browsers on the market right now. Here is a video of the Nexus one and the iphone's Acid3 test:

The Blackberry Webkit browser actually beats nexus one, and is on par with the iphone browser.

It measures compliance with web standards. It's more of a theoretical test than something important, but it's still a good sign that the browser can score 100%

It's actually a pretty good indication of the fidelity with which a browser can render pages and interpret JavaScript, especially when comparing these scores with desktop browsers. Although the current BlackBerry Browser has a 91/100, the render is incorrect and the numbers don't increment smoothly, which are also criteria that Acid3 performance is judged by. I just want a WebKit browser because that engine underlies many desktop and mobile browsers and is an easy development target.

Acid3 is not as important as supporting HTML5. More important than the 100/100 is the speed at which it gets there, which based on this video is rather impressive...

I have five bars right now Capital EV and three times in a row I got a 38 on BB browser. Took the same test on Opera mini Beta 2 and got a 98.

Keep in mind that this is a test on WIFI only, just tested the same pages on wifi on my regular 9700 browser and was not that much slower than the new browser. Question is how fast is it on 3g and EDGE?

WIFI will always be faster.

Still BlackBerry is usually (slightly) faster than other smart phones when it comes to pure downloading speeds. The problem was the rendering speed, and that appears to be fixed.

I don't know about you, but when I request a link, it requests for a good 10 seconds before loading any data. Yes the data loads fast, but the requesting really slows me down.




Definitely not I would say, it wouldn't surprise me if a few of the 5.0 devices didn't even make the cut.

is it integrated with flash if so, then no 1 sshould compare it to another phone, if not then we just gotta keep waiting

Seriously- no offense, but what exactly are you all rejoicing over?
A one minute, recorded video, of a flashless browser using wifi, that picks up partly through a page render; that may be released Some time? Wow - no wonder things are so f-ed up. Hey - ket me ask you all how your liking the new Need for Speed game demonstrated by RIM a couple months ago?

Seriously this browser isn't due out until prolly early summer and it is already better than the browser we have now.

As for flash name me one uber phone that has it. Last time I checked the Jesus phone and the hemdroid don't have it either. So stuff the flashless browser.

As for need for speed that was from what I have heard on a stripped down Storm 2. They didn't say it would be coming soon, only that it was possible.

You really are a downer.

I just watched that video again and you really are a butthead. That browser rocks. Can't wait to see it on my Storm 2.

congratulations, you have the least contributing most worthless comment of the day, you win nothing. the fact that you have to be you is punishment enough for your stupidity

That looks truly impressive. In the short time I had the Droid all I really loved about it was the browser, and I always thought if my Storm had a browser similar to it, it would be the perfect phone. I hope this sees the light of day soon.

As much criticism as you're catching, I know what you mean.

People, 1Magine isn't saying the browser isn't a huge step up from where we are with our current browser- simply that we should be a little more critical about it because so far, it's really really fast.... and then what? It's not smooth like an iphone browser, not choppy/smooth like a droid. Nor is there any of the highly touted flash running that RIM stated would be supported in the browser and UI.

Yes, we are all aware that the product is not completed yet. We know it's in the early stages, but it's almost crunch time, and there are no signs of this being anything that would trump a competitor's browser.

Think that you have to trust RIm to get it right, they normally always do.

the web kit is a good start and hopefully this will roll out with an updated UI.

I have used all of the others, iphone and android, whilst the browsers are good they are not proper phones. BBs are communicators which is why we carry one. If i just wanted to browse, i would carry round an iSlab.

Sorry Jacmeister68, that's really not true. Sadly they've continued to have serious issues with providing products with an OS that doesn't need significant upgrades- No, not because times change and new tech and all, but because they either rushed the product (cough..Storm..Tour..) to "compete" with other phones already finished and ready on the market, or they just didn't have the means to make an overhaul plausible.

Now they do. They have this WebKit in the works, and they have a huge company in Adobe putting together something that should, in all likeliness, trump the competition.

Given time, yes, this browser will be completed and I'll have it on my phone just like millions of users out there, because I like to surf the web on my phone and should be able to do that just as easily and fluidly as an iphone user.

Case in point; the tech is there, the need is there, the time to act is yesterday, so come on RIM. When this is completed it needs to be far better than what you've displayed in this video.

While they don't get everything right, they do get a lot of stuff right and its not like other companies don't try and rush partially finished products out, how long did the iphone have to wait for something as simple as cut and paste and what about all the 3g problems with the nexus one?

I can't wait till this is released by RIM, but until then, maybe someone will leak it out to us! Please?!? :) Looks awesome!! Heck, even a buggy beta verison is better than what we have now.

Once they role this out we can stop saying "blackberry is a great platform, unless you access a lot of web pages, in that case you better get a phone with a native browser you can rely on".

3rd party apps are great for customization, but 100% of users need their browser to JUST WORK.
Management 1001: don't outsource your core competency.

Look, we do need WebKit to be a success to address the one glaring weakness with our otherwise very well-designed smartphones. But I'm not going to get caught up in worrying about how it compares to Droid or iPhone.

For one, I have a Bold 9700. Comparing my web browsing to what an iPhone does is stupid b/c I don't have a touch screen and I didn't want one. For people with the Storm, maybe it is a better comparison.

My choice to get a Bold with a physical QWERTY keyboard means there are advantages and disadvantages to my device. One of those draw backs is surfing online. But all I ask of the new WebKit, whenever it comes out, is that it's CONSISTENT. I don't expect it to be blazingly fast, or display full webpages in perfect fidelity on one screen (especially rockin' my AT&T 3G connection...). But I do ask it to be able to WORK in some useable fashion with every website I want to visit (with the exception of flash, if that can't be worked out). Right now, I have three browsers (Bolt, BB, and Opera), and while I primarily use BB Browser, I'm never quite sure which one is the best option for whatever particular site I want to view.

I think we agree almost 100%. I have my 8330 because it is the best phone for my needs (until they get the 9650 out that is).

However, when I am recommending which phone to buy to a friend, web browsing is something I always bring up if I am recommending a blackberry. I don't see iphone and blackberry as competition because they have vastly different use cases. If you need a blackberry, an iphone wont work, it you need an iphone, a blackberry wont work either. There are some people who can get by with either device, but those two devices are more complementary than they are competitive.
Fast, efficient and absolutely, yes, consistent web access is a part of most consumer use cases though, and I don't think there is any problem if consumers make a little noise about it.

Once this comes out the blackberry platform will be complete. Its the only lacking part that I thought they ever had. Way to go RIM!! Now let's deploy it!!

Canned Video demos truly suck... It gives the end user no actual feeling for the product; in real life conditions.

It says alot that they were unable to give a "live" demo i.e. it is no where near "beta" ready. We're still probably looking at 6-9mths before we see anything meaningful.

Given the location of this presentation, you just couldn't be sure of how overloaded the cells would be due to all the other handsets, so why would they risk a bad demo just so they could say they did it live?

The fact that it managed to ace the acid3 test should be proof enough that its not 9 months away, you would expect something like that to keep getting tweaked during the development phase really.

Overloaded cells? I guess it's too much to ask that a new Blackberry browser be able to actually work in person, you know, like every other browser in the world.

We don't know that it actually aced anything, let alone the acid3 test. Typical BB. Hurry up and wait.

is better than going back.

I just don't understand the pleasure over a 1 minute video demo. Not a live demonstration. Not over 3G. And likely over a stripped out BB as well. Listen - you want to be excited and happy- - be my guest. I don't want to be the dcowner here. Though I imagine that you're going to be the first one's screaming when it shows up late and half cooked.

I thought that by now enough people have gotten tired of RIM blowing smoke up your bum and calling it a rainbow. Guess Barnum was right.

BTW - trust RIM? No. I don't trust RIM to get it right. Can they? Sure Look at AMD/ATI - they came all the way back from the dead. But they also cleaned house. RIM has shown no such inclination. E-mail is truncated, alerts and ring tones wont play through the headset, embedded images will not auto download in e-mails, and the touch UI is far from complete (still can't flick through playing songs). There are a dozen areas where RIM has yet to address. And a minute video demo doesn't reassure me that all is going to be ok in the BB universe.

in every head to head with a storm 2 or storm they place a droid or iphone or htc hero or palm phone we get embarrassed in the browsing category EVERYTIME !! but now we may FINALLY actually win a head to head event and someone may actually give us some good reviews!! WOO HOO !!

The WebKit browser will be bundled with BB OS 7 so look forward to a few years of "wait for it". Then watch BB users move to Android or the iPhone instead of waiting for this.

I was excited about the big "TUESDAY announcement", then Blaze came and told someone that it had nothing to do with the web kit browser hence shooting me down. But man, I'm so excited for this!

RIGHT? YOU DON'T ACTUALLY GET TO SEE IT LOAD A PAGE FROM START TO END. They might as well have put a red text box on the bottom wich reads "Phone images and time elapsed enhanced for effect."

But as another has posted, its "...only to show what can be done..." Maybe it will be faster; maybe not. Maybe it will have flash, maybe not. Maybe it will be ready for July 2010, maybe not.

Darn - sorry - I did it again. Please excuse my sober reasoning and observation. YEAH RIM. This looks awesomesome. So amazing. Congrats everyone.

1) Will this be rolled out to existing BBs? If so, which ones?

2) What is the ETA on rollout?

3) From the little birdies chirping regarding 10.1 working with BB, will this support Flash?

Earn that paycheck, man! :P

I may need to correct myself. (Wouldn't be the first time). Looks like video shows Flash 10. page has flash ads running on top of the live4soccer Champions league banner. In video above it is a car ad. If you load it up on regular browser you can see that spot is encoded for flash 10. Your current BB Browser will not display any ad up there or to the far right. But the browser in the video does. Hmm. Need to go re-think some things.

Hmm...interesting find. I'll admit that I don't completely know what is and isn't flash when I'm surfing. But if it did support flash, I'm curious why they wouldn't pimp that capability in his Powerpoint when he lists like "Full HTML5 support" and all the other stuff.

Also, how do the BB veterans here suppose they will release this thing if it comes out in the near future? Will it have to be in conjunction with a new operating system? Would it be a free download on AppWorld?

I loaded the page up on my regular Firefox browser (after disabling AdBlock Plus), and right clicking on the ads shows them to be just regular ol' HTML. Don't know where you're seeing any encoding for Flash.

"Getting data down to the BlackBerry fast has never been an issue for the BlackBerry web browser..."

I had to laugh when I read this part of the article. Really? You want to try out my 9700 on AT & T's U.S. network and tell me that there's no way the device could be receiving data any faster? Haha.

Looks great, I hope it was worth the wait.

Over the last few months, I have gotten a hold of a plethora of phones to use, including the palm pre plus, eris, droid, and winmo hd2. Of all the phones I have used, the pre by far has the best web browser. Full html, incredibly fast, awesome pinch zoom, etc. But for some reason I always keep falling back to my blackberry. There is something about every one of them. Whether it be my storm2 or (at the moment) curve2, there is always that feeling of comfort with the blackberry experience. I use the web browser more than any other application on a phone, for multiple reasons. It is painful, torturous, for me to use any browser on a blackberry. But I do it- I don't know why, but I do. With the addition of what looks like the fastest browser I might ever use, I will cement myself and crush my curiosity into blackberries for a long time coming.

If you believe the ads on top (car ad in video over the live4soccer banner) is java - - please show it to me on any current BB browser. Its simple - if you have an ad there on your BB its not flash. If the ad is not there and appears on the IE, FF etc. it must be something else. Happy to discuss further what it may be.

This browser is nice, and it could have derailed my plan to escape to Android. However, there is still so much more available on Android (Google Maps with voice directions?) that still beats the pants off of BB's OS.

BlackBerry is getting there -- just way too slowly.

with all these new updates RIM will have the top 5 spots in the IDC report Q1. Just gotta get a way to incorporate widgets, Web kit, and all those new screen candy into 1 OS.

It's Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Files. GIF files also work on the Blackberry and Iphone browsers currently.

In my Blackberry browser for the 5.0 update Sprint just released for the Tour, Javascrip works, as well. Where you'll run your pointer over a certain area and menues will drop down.

Also, i've noticed in the 5.0 browser on Tour, you can play Mafia Wars and it doesn't refresh page, the changes just happen, like on full browser -- but PAINFULLY slow.

Either way, there was no flash in that video. Hopefully the plug in will be inserted at time of release, but that's just hoping.

HTC Touch Pro 2 is looking mightly appealing right about now...


I can't get the banner ad running above the live4soccerbanner to show, or the soccer U ad space on the left side on my BB browser. You have it running on yours?

For what it's worth my Palm Pre Plus running the webkit browser and scored a 77 on the acid test. It kept getting errors saying too many downloads and things failing.

If BB browser is set to internet browser with ID as IE. It will show it as animated GIF. Good part - I need not re-think and re-evaluate my opinion of RIM engineers and management. Bad part - no flash.

Sometimes they don't put the same add in the same spot.

Try this site, it's perfect for those files and you'd think you were looking at flash all over.

go to

Let it load and put it full screen -- if you have it in columns, press the X button.

Let me know what you see...


I can't fathom why I am not too excited. I am happy that it is coming down the pipes, but, in some respects, it almost seems too little to get my pants in a bunch about. Like it's something that should have been done so long ago that I can't bring myself to dance for joy. Or maybe it is because of the uncertainties, such as whether any of the current devices can hope to get this, or when the release date is slated for. Or maybe its because one would require a corresponding increase in screen real estate for Blackberrys other than the Storm to really get excited about the browsing experience. I just don't know. Maybe when I get it, I'll be far more excited about it.


It is great thwt blackberry smartphone will be getting an updated web browser, but it doesn't really separate them from the crowd. Now they will have a browser just like every other Palm, iPhone, and Android device. I hope they have something else around the corner to compete.

It addresses a weakness on the blackberry, they were already better than the others at a lot of things and now they don't have the poor browser dragging them back into the pack.

random but i dont really know this stuff at all but i personally just did it on my storm 2 and it got a 90/100 is ten points thta big a difference? and what does it test?

Demos are nice, real world will be a lot different I'm sure, depending on the BB it's loaded on and the other apps that will be running on the BB of choice.

And which versions of BB OS will get a new updated browser?

so 3 years late on apple and nothing innovative. impressed. they had 3 years to develop one and didnt. even palms browser is better then this....

I loaded up and my Storm 9530 scored a 93/100 with the BlackBerry browser. What are you guys doing to score a 90/100?

We need this like two years ago. Looks ready enough to me to be released (or "oops, I accidentally slipped this into an OS leak..."). Even if it's not technically "ready" it's certainly already 100 times better than what we have. Let's get this thing out to the customers RIM!

Because htc phones w/android; are becoming the phones to beat, so to speak. I just don't think an iphone is and has never been any real competition to rim in terms of phones. Still, I may have to check out the htc desire and legacy!

I'm trying to do it on my phone, but it keeps saying that "Scripts" must be running, when JavaScript is in fact turned on.

Just did Bolt. It got 100/100, but it just loads, it doesn't show the animation, so there's really know way to say for sure that it did great, but it certainly did well. I also did Firefox last night it got 93/100.

Us BlackBerry users need this browser ASAP!!!!! I can't wait to get this on my BB!! I sure hope we will get it real soon.

That still doesn't pass the Acid3 test because it has that red box or whatever. That shouldn't be there. The Acid3 test is composed of 100 tests. Just because it gets a 100 does not mean it passed all 100. It just means it completed them. But technically it does still fail the Acid3 test.

Looks good but lets seem them get it on my phone before October when my contract is up and I decide weather I want a Nexus One or not.

last i heard this is supposed to be ready in the summer of 2011, by then someone will have a better browser, and a YEAR is a long time in smartphone tech