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Bolt Browser Updated to 2.1 With Facebook Chat, HTML5 and Flash Video
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The Bolt browser, which launched a beta back at CTIA with tabs, has had yet another beefy update over the weekend, implementing tighter integration with Facebook, like using the chat function. Wow, even RIM’s own Facebook client doesn’t support chat yet. Additionally, Bolt can now stream Flash video from a bunch of new sites, including MTV and BBC’s.

Bolt is second only to Opera Mini as an alternative browser for BlackBerry (NSDQ: RIMM), and uses similar server-side compression technology and Webkit foundation. What sets the Bolt browserapart is that they have a widget platform kind of like Firefox, that allows developers to plug right into the native browser. Right now the gallery is pretty slim pickings, but Wikipedia and Dictionary.com widgets are a good start. A few extra tweaks, like updating Facebook and Twitter right through the browser make Bolt a competitive and interesting option.

Although the Bolt browser works with any J2ME phone, it seems to be targeting BlackBerry rather specifically. After visiting a YouTube link on my native BlackBerry browser the other day, I was welcomed with the message “Your browser is outdated, why don’t you download one of these modern ones?”. This nicely illustrates why browsers like Bolt and Opera Mini are needed for BlackBerry, at very least until RIM’s new Webkit browser is ready to go, and even then, we have yet to really put it through the paces. Speed has been the main concern (currently bogged down by poor JavaScript handling), and tab support will go a long way, but I’m curious to see how well RIM implements Flash in their next browser, or if there will still be a sufficient gap for third party apps to fill.

To download the Bolt browser 2.1, visit Boltbrowser.com in your existing mobile browser, or through App World at the link below.
[Image: BlackBerry-AppWorldBadge.jpg]
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