Registration is required to download from the forum and I experienced problems installing the app via my phone’s browser using the Jad file links in the forum post. There was a minor formatting issue with the files. I posted direct links to corrected versions of the English files below for your convenience.
New features in this release include:
- Copy text directly from webpages. (image above, right) UC calls this “Free Copy”. This feature has been available in the Symbian and Android native versions of UC for some time but is new to the Java one.
- Webpage pre-fetch, speed up browsing by loading linked pages in the background. This is an optional feature which can be turned on in the Preferences menu (image below, right).
- Proxy support is built into the browser. This useful for users of Nokia S40 phones which do not provide a way to configure the proxy settings that some mobile operators require for packet data access (image below, left).
This release retains the UC browser’s traditional strengths which include:
- Speed: Like Opera Mini and Bolt, UC is a thin client proxy based browser. A UC proxy server compresses and optimizes pages before sending them to the phone. Pages load up to 10 times faster than with conventional browsers. Compression also reduces the size of pages by a similar amount making browsing less expensive for users who pay by the KB or MB.
- Tabbed Browsing: You can easily open links and bookmarks in a new window. There’s even an option to open links in the background without leaving the current page.
- Powerful Download Manager: UC supports pausing and resuming downloads, background downloading while continuing to browse and downloading multiple files simultaneously.
- Fit to Width: UC defaults to fit to width mode which reformats pages into a single column for easy reading with no horizontal. This is especially useful with phones with small screens. Unlike Opera Mini’s buggy “Mobile View” which frequently fails to fit textto the screen, UC’s fit to with works properly on all sites. If you prefer to see pages in their original layout UC you can switch to “PC View” in the Preferences menu.
UC seems to have made considerable progress in fixing the site compatibly issues that have dogged the browser for the past year or so. I had no problem loading a number of sites that gave me problems in the past including Dabr.co.uk, Facebook (mobile and full versions) and Google Reader and Mail.
Rendering also seems improved, especially in PC View. While it’s not perfect, the overlapping text and images that used to bedevil PC View seem to be largely banished.
This is a Java ME app optimized on feature phones. It also works well on Symbian 2nd and 3rd edition phones (The screenshots on this page are from my N95).
I don’t recommend this Beta for touch-only devices. It uses a heirarchical menu system with lots of useful user-configurable shortcuts. It’s designed for use with a keypad and arrow keys. While I was able to install it on a Nokia N8 and everything worked, it was quite frustrating and error-prone tapping into tiny nested menus to perform common actions like entering a URL, going back a page or saving a bookmark. The touch-optimized native Symbian version of UC 7.4 for S60 5th edition and Symbian^3 is a better choice for these phones.
For now there is no official English version of UC 7.5 for other platforms. I expect that native versions will eventually be available for Windows Mobile, Symbian, Android and jailbroken iPhones. The current 7.4 (7.2 for Android) versions for these platforms already support free copy and benefit from the server improvements, so you really aren’t missing much using the older versions.
One thing that UC doesn’t have but desperately needs is a touch-optimized Java version. All but the most basic feature phones are rapidly moving to touch. Without a finger friendly Java app UC is losing out on a sizable and growing portion of the market.
UC Browser 7.4 For Symbian, Java and Windows Mobile
UC Browser – New Android Browser Hands On
UC Browser’s “Blank Screen” Bug Fixed
Official English UCWEB 7.0 Browser Reviewed – Great Feature Set But Many Sites Fail To Load
UCWEB Android Version Found!
UC Browser Version 7 Beta 2 Is Much Improved – But Popular Sites Are Blocked By The “Great Firewall”
Speed Test – Opera Mini, Bolt, Skyfire and UCWEB