A new 8.2 final version of the UC Browser was released today for Java ME and Symbian 3rd edition and latter. It includes two new features, dubbed Quick Reads and Bookmark Synchronization .
Quick Reads is a built in RSS reader. It displays item headlines with descriptions and thumbnail images from your choice of over 100 popular news sources. Click a headline to read the original article on the source site. Available feeds range from The Economist and the New York Times to E! Entertainment News and The Onion. Lots of sports sites and tech blogs and even an XDA Developers feed are also included. You do need to provide an email address and password to create a synch account before you can set up Quick Reads. The account is used to keep your feed list is synced across all devices using the same account. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any way to add your own feeds by site or feed URL.
Bookmark Synchronization is not a true synchronization service like Chrome or Firefox Sync or Opera Link. It’s an on demand bookmark backup and restore service. You can backup your bookmarks to the cloud, overwriting previously backed up bookmarks, and you can restore your bookmarks to the phone, overwriting the ones that were there. Although that’s not true synchronization, it’s still useful. It works across devices and will make it easy to transfer your bookmarks to a new phone.
The new releases also include everything that was in the 7.9 Symbian release and the 8.2 Java Beta. Click here for my reviews of older UC Browser versions.
I installed the new UC 8.2 on four phones; a Nokia N95-3 and N8 got the Symbian versions (there are separate .sisx downloads for 3rd ed. and for fifth ed. and latter Symbian devices). The Java release went on a Samsung S8500L bada phone and a Motorola WX400 QWERTY feature phone.
The browser worked well for general browsing on all four phones. Quick Reads looked and and worked well on all, although I was frustrated by not being able to add feeds that weren’t on the preselect list of available ones.
Bookmark synchronization worked perfectly on the two phones running the Java version. As with Quick Reads, you need to create an account using an email address and password. There’s no email verification so if you are comfortable sharing your real emial, a fake one should work provided you don’t care about being able to recover a forgotten password..
However, I could not get the bookmark sync to work on either Symbian phone. The N8 kept insisting that my password was incorrect. I knew it wasn’t (and the browser displays the password in plan text so it was obvious to me that I had entered it correctly). I tried using the password recovery feature but the browser claimed my email address wasn’t associated with an existing account. Creating a new synch account using a different email address didn’t work either. After I filled out the fields on the registration page and pressed the submit button the page relaoded with the fields blank. I’ve reported this bug on the UC Forum and am hoping it will be fixed quickly.
The N95-3 recognized my log in and displayed a “Bookmarks are syncing, please wait” message and then the browser crashed. Several UC Forum users have reported that both Symbian 3rd and 5th edition devices are crashing while syncing.
UC Browser 8.2 adds a couple of useful features but needs a fix to the Symbian bookmark sync issues and a way to add any RSS feed to Quick Reads.
Download UC Browser from wap.ucweb.com (mobile) or ucweb.com (desktop). The UC mobile site is a bit of a mess. If it recognizes your device but claims there is no suitable version for it, tap the “Change” link after your device name and then scroll to the bottom of the page and click Java or Symbian. Symbian Anna, Belle (and probably Clara) phones can use the S60 5th ed. version.