Browser maker Skyfire has introduced Skyfire 3.0 with Facebook Connect, a mobile browser for users of smartphones running Android 2.0 and higher, and who don't want to miss a thing their friends are looking at, interested in or reading.
Skyfire 3.0 integrates Facebook into the SkyBar, a cloud-powered toolbar that lets users watch video, view related content and share content with friends.
Among the features new to Version 3.0 is the ability to click the Popular button in the SkyBar to see what's popular with other Facebook members. If you're reading an article on say, eWEEK.com, you could hit the button to see what's popular on the site with the entire Facebook community, with recommendations from your own Friends prioritized at the top of the list.
A Fireplace Feed Reader offers a filtered list of one's Facebook feed that only includes links to Web pages, images and videos posted by one's Facebook friends. Skyfire 3.0 also acts as an integrated portal, offering single-touch access to one's Facebook feed, profile and location services. It also puts a Like button on every page of the Internet, so users can easily Like or Unlike, and share the pages with Friends via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail.
"This is just the latest innovation made possible by Skyfire's Rocket Platform and illustrates why Skyfire, as the first browser ever powered by a cloud service, is a must-have for smartphone users," Jeff Glueck, CEO of Skyfire, said in a Nov. 23 statement.
For a limited time, Skyfire 3.0 is available in the Android Market for free.
Skyfire describes itself as "dedicated to using cloud computing to improve multimedia experiences on mobile phones" and as creating the first "Compression as a Service," or CAAS. Earlier this month it introduced a Skyfire 2.0 application that enables Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owners to view Adobe Flash video-a capability that Apple CEO Steve Jobs notoriously left off of the smartphones.
Within hours, the Apple app-which sells for $2.99-was the highest grossing application in the App Store and the top app in the Utilities category. The demand far exceeded Skyfire's expectations and overwhelmed it, causing the company to post a note on its site saying it was "working really hard to increase capacity" and that the app was temporarily "sold out."
During the third quarter, Apple's iPhone and smartphones running Android helped the industry to post record sales, according to research firm Gartner. Android-running on phones from handset makers HTC, Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and others-claimed 25.6 percent of the global smartphone market, putting it in second place behind long-time leader Symbian, and Apple followed behind it in third place.
Putting a fine point on the market available to Skyfire, Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi reported that Apple claims to activate approximately 275,000 iOS devices per day, on average. In June, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said his company was activating 160,000 Android handsets per day-which jumped to an estimated 200,000 by August.