Today Bitstream released version 1.5 of their free Bolt browser. Bolt is a Java ME app and runs on most phones. If you are using a previous version of Bolt should be prompted to update as soon as you try to visit a web page. If you don’t already have Bolt, visit boltbrowser.com with your mobile browser or boltbrowser.com/download.html using a PC browser and follow the prompts to download and install Bolt 1.5.
With 1.5 Bolt loses its Beta label but remains free to download and use. According to the Bolt FAQ, new features and enhancements in Bolt 1.5 include:
- Server upgrades (make v1.5 15% faster than Beta3)
- Cache support that enables directly browsing back to a previously visited page
- Download manager that downloads files directly within BOLT on JSR 75 capable devices
- Dedicated search bar, enabling search on popular search engines directly from BOLT
- Enhanced column width control that auto-aligns the text to columns for ease of reading
- Enhanced video support that includes inline media playing capability even on low-end devices.
- Support for streaming videos of any length
- Volume UP/DOWN controls in the inline media player
- Ability to rearrange the subscribed feeds using the ‘grab’ feature
- Access to History links from the URL window with inline editing OFF
- One click access on Home Page that ensures the cursor jumps to the desired widget
I downloaded Bolt 1.5 to my Nokia N95-3 and my initial impressions are good. It seems faster. The new auto align to text columns feature works well and removes one of the biggest annoyances of previous Bolt releases where fitting text to the window was very fussy. I’ll be putting Bolt 1.5 through its paces on the N95 and a couple of other handsets and publishing a full review latter in the week. In a press release, Bolt claims that “BOLT is the fastest mobile browser currently available – routinely at least 25 to 50 percent faster than the next fastest…” Interesting , in my last mobile browser speed test Bolt, while fast, was beaten soundly by both Opera Mini 4.2 and UCWEB 6.3. I hope to run and post some formal speed tests this week of both Bolt 1.5 and the new Opera Mini 5 Beta.