Access Enhances Web Browsing on Nokia Phones

NetFront 3.3 includes support for multiple browser windows, an advanced pop-up blocker, and support for RSS and Atomfeed data feeds.

Cell phone software company Access Co. Ltd. has introduced a new version of its NetFront mobile browser for Nokia Inc.s S60 smart-phone platform.

New features for NetFront Version 3.3 include support for multiple browser windows, an advanced pop-up blocker, and support for RSS and Atomfeed data feeds.

It supports HTML 4.01, xHTML 1.0, cHTML, WML 1.3, SSL 3.0, HTTP 1.1 and JavaScript 1.5, officials said.

The company aims to deliver "a PC-like mobile Internet browsing experience," said Toru Arakawa, president and CEO of Access, in a company statement.

While Series 60 devices are aimed at a technology-savvy clientele, industry observers say some of the browsers features may be overkill for a phone.

"Theres a lot of to-do about blogging and RSS, and its all cool, but I dont see a lot of people demanding that on a phone right now," said Jack Gold, president of J. Gold Associates, a technology consultancy in Northborough, Mass. "Once you get out of a techie lunatic fringe, most people couldnt tell you what RSS is."

NetFront browsers, which are available for a variety of phone platforms and operating systems, are deployed in some 200 million devices worldwide, according to officials at Access.

The new S60 browser is available immediately from Nokias Web site or from

Meanwhile, the industry is waiting to see whats next for the Palm OS. Access bought Palm OS maker PalmSource Inc. in November. Since then, the company has been quiet about its plans for the veteran handheld operating system.

/zimages/6/28571.gifIs there a future for Palm OS? Click here to read more.

PalmSource and Access officials insist that there is a future for the Palm OS and that that future is open-source software; PalmSource added a fast-boot Linux kernel to its technology portfolio when the company acquired Bermuda-based mobile software maker China MobileSoft Ltd. last February.

"Were in an integration phase right now," said Manuel Morales, a spokesman for Access in Tokyo. He added that the company will elaborate on its plans for the Palm OS in February, at the 3GSM World Congress, a huge wireless industry trade show in Barcelona.

/zimages/6/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.