Friday, April 18, 2008

My review on TouchBrowser (part. 2)

II. The incompatibility with Treo 750
Here comes the rough part, and also the sad part for Treo 750 owners who wished to get iPhone-like web browser; TouchBrowser current version is not compatible with Treo 750. The most notable are the drop / reduced key buttons from the Treo square display screen, I was really surprised to learn that even the on-screen keyboard is not complete; so I have to use the Enter button on my Treo's QWERTY keyboard to go to the website address I wrote. I've asked Vincent about this, and it's true that TouchBrower is currently for QVGA and VGA screen device only. But I relieved from my fear immediately, when he mentioned we may expect optimizations for Treo screens in the future version.
The visual incompatibility with Treo is not the only thing I was worried about, I encountered poor performance of my Treo when using TouchBrowser. Like the Exit button is not working and if I put the app into the background by pushing the "ok" button on Treo, TouchBrowser refused to be launch again. I definitely won't be able to open other apps because there's sign of lag performances, this sadden me as I loves multi-tasking with my Treo.
I do believe that the main cause of these poor performances is Treo's mediocre processor's power; it's only run at 300MHz. And as I mentioned before at the first post, TouchBrowser is using Pocket IE to do the rendering job on every web pages it opens. So Treo's processor is doubling its supposed capacity to run both TouchBrowser and Pocket IE at the same time, lags & hang issues are likely to happen whenever you overdo Treo 750 usage.
Last thing I noticed is the screen refresh issue in the settings menu, Vincent assured me that they'll fix it in the next release (hint: summer). I'm not sure if this only happens to Treo 750, or other Windows Mobile devices as well...
III. Conclusion
I actually like it aside all of the incompatibility issues I told you before, because we have to admit it that Pocket IE is not good enough compared to other superior mobile web browsers. And the iPhone's Safari web browser has been proven as everyone's favorites & the best there is out there right now. So Nakayama is on the right track with TouchBrowser, the iPhone-style like web browser.
I must emphasis this one; TouchBrowser is meant to bring the best experience of browsing the Net as to what we have with iPhone. And since this is the first version released, it's only natural to find few hiccups when using it. I know I'll be waiting for the next update, when the good engineers at Makayama have perfected TouchBrowser. Although I think they should first improve the finger-scroll acuracy, it's a little bit too slippery for me.
Overall it is a good alternative solution for Windows Mobile device (with QVGA screen) owners, who are looking for enhancement from the boring & plain Pocket IE. But my advice for Treo 750 owners is to wait untill Makayama has released a newer version that's expected to be more compatible with our Palm smartphone.
So far Makayama hasn't provided a trial version of TouchBrowser, but the $14.95 price tag has include free upgrades in the future. So go grab one
here if you really can't wait for the next release on summer ;-D
There’s a special discount for Palm Addict readers, you can get 20% discount on all of their products (including the new TouchBrowser)! Just write “ADDICTIVE” on the promotion code, thanks to Vincent for the promotion code name; it rhymes with our slogan. ;-)
IV. Future wish list
There are some features, whether it's a basic or even advance one, that I really want to have when I'm using TouchBrowser:

  • More search engine options beside the existing Google, such as Live or Wikipedia. I have confirmation from Vincent’s last email, that other search options may be included in the future, but they haven’t decided yet.
  • A stop button. I realized there's none, so when I opened a huge website with many pictures; I need TouchBrowser to stop downloading them all before my phone bill explode.
  • Tab-enabled browser, it's become a standard and everybody love to open many tabs at the same for only you know why. ;-p

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

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