When we dropped word of the Bolt Browser Private Beta on the CrackBerry blogs a couple weeks (remember my 2am video?) it was met with quite the reaction from the CrackBerry community. I think pretty much everybody who got it up and running was blown away by the speed and saw the "potential" in this 3rd party web browser.
Just this morning BitStream has followed up on realizing more of the potential in the Bolt Browser, as they have released version .83 which includes some BlackBerry-optimized updates:
1. APN configuration automated for BlackBerry devices. BOLT now auto-detects network details. This will eliminate the "internet not available" error messages, and manual APN configuration requirements, some BlackBerry users were experiencing.
2. BlackBerry dedicated back key support. Also supported on some SE devices.
3. BlackBerry scrolling enhancements. Scrolling on track ball BlackBerry devices is now faster and smoother.
4. BlackBerry-specific enhancements to match BlackBerry system short cuts such as "." when space is pressed in URL mode.
5. System fonts will be utilized instead of Bitstream fonts for lists and options, resulting in increased usability.
6. Improved server support, resulting in a more stable browsing experience.
7. Automatic reconnect after client/server disconnect
8. Usability enhancements for URL, Favorites and History entry and management.
9. Instant switching between landscape and portrait modes (this formerly required a server round trip). This should also enhance user experience on accelerometer powered devices such as the BlackBerry Storm.
10. Auto-Update. When a new release is available, BOLT will prompt users to download and install the new release directly from BOLT.
11. Blackberry Specific Scrolling/navigation enhancements including space to page down one screen and space+shift to page up one screen, 't' to jump to top of page, 'b' to jump to bottom.
12. Double tap/double click as a shortcut to toggle between zoom out split screen mode, and full screen mode.
To Upgrade: If you already have Bolt installed your device, just open up the browser and visit a web page (go to Google). You will be prompted that a new version is available and from there can download and install (you'll have to reboot).
Get Bolt Browser: Bolt Browser is still in Private Beta mode which means its availability is limited. Good news though, you can still get it thanks to our CrackBerry referall code! Go to BoltBrowser.com and click over to Download. Enter 'CrackBerry' into the referral field on the form and you're in!!
Reporting: Be sure to drop your comments and feedback on this blog post and in our Bolt forum thread. ALSO, You can help BitStream make the Bolt Browser better by reporting any technical issues to to them via this form. And if you have something good to say about Bolt, send an email into email@example.com.
OK, enough chit chat. I've just finished upgrading and have some Bolt Browsing to do! I know some people have been loving Bolt while others have been slower to warm up to it. I've been a big fan. The fact my Curve 8900 loads websites over Edge using Bolt faster than my iPhone 3G can load them up in Safari (over both 3G and I've even beat it on WiFi) makes me happy.