Bolt 1.7 Adds Widgets, Twitter Integration, Flash Video and Download Manager Enhancements

Bolt 1.7 - Yahoo Bolt 1.7 - ESPN

There were a huge number of major announcements at the Mobile World Congresss (MWC) in Barcelona today.  Somewhat lost in the barrage of press releases was that Bitstream has released Bolt 1.7.  The main things that are new in this release are:

  • The ability to post to  Twitter from within Bolt.  Posts are pre-populated with the current page’s URL and are editable so you can add your own comments to the tweet.
  • Widgets (images below) based on the draft W3C standard.  These widgets run on the Bolt server and display in the browser rather than on the phone’s idle screen.  Currently there are nine widgets available
    • Weather – which shows a four day forecast for any world city
      Twitter Profile – displays recent tweets by a single Twitter user
    • Twitter Search
    • Bolt Forum – displays the last 10 posts on the Bolt user forum and lets you reply or create a new topics.
    • A basic Calculator
    • Calendar widget that displays a calendar for the current or any other month
    • Wikipedia Search, lookup and Bing search; each of which opens the respective site to  display the results of the user’s query.

The widgets are installed from an on-device Gallery.  I haven’t been able to find any information on developing Widgets for Bolt or how developers can  add them to the Gallery.

  • New Spanish and Russian language versions
  • New keypad shortcuts:
    • zoom in  (#2)
    • zoom out (#8)
    • Jump to page top (22)
    • Jump to page bottom (88)
  • New shortcut keys for BlackBerrys and other QWERTY devices.
  • Bolt’s server assisted streaming video which transcodes and displays Flash flv content from selected sites now supports YouTube videos embedded on any site plus CNN and  ESPN videos.
  • The Download Manager now allows multiple simultaneous downloads with pause and  resume
  • Improved handling of buttons on web forms
  • Search for text in the page

More information about Bolt 1.7 can be found in the press release and the Bolt Browser FAQ.

Bolt 1.7 - Weather Widget Bolt 1.7 - Twitter Search

I ran Version 1.7 through its paces on a Nokia N95.  This release continues Bolt’s pattern of steady incremental improvement  which I’ve seen over the past year since the browser’s first release. I’m particularly pleased with the new top of page and bottom of page shortcut keys in this release. I’d gotten so used to being able to quickly jump to the top and bottom of the page in Opera Mini 4.2 and missed that ability in Bolt (and in the Opera Mini 5 Beta which still lacks this essential feature).

Bolt is the only Java browser with more than two zoom levels, it has seven  and the new zoom hotkeys  make on the fly zooming easy.

I’m taking a wait and see approach to the widgets. None of the initial ones seem particularly useful but it will be interesting to see how Bolt’s widget platform evolves.  Hopefully Bolt will open widget development to third parities and provide a way to port  web widgets from other platforms like Symbian and Opera.

Bolt is a reliable and fast browser that seems to to able to faithfully render even difficult sites that Opera Mini and UCWEB have problems with.  It’s still a little weak on features, lacking both tabbed browsing and a fit to width mode but is a fine choice for general browsing.

Users of previous versions of Bolt will be prompted to upgrade the first time they load a page.  If you are new to Bolt, visit with phone or PC to download and install.  Bolt is a generic Java application which runs on most phones.  There is also a special BlackBerry version Bolt and a “Lite” variant for low end devices.

4 thoughts on “Bolt 1.7 Adds Widgets, Twitter Integration, Flash Video and Download Manager Enhancements

  1. “Complacency”?

    That’s a very strange term to use about a market leader which released a major update to its product just a few months ago, and which has released several betas after that with even more improvements.

    Never mind the fact that Opera Mini is hitting even more platforms than before, and the product was already available for more phones than any other browser.

    Let’s ignore the completely rewritten UI which basically turns Opera Mini into an advanced smartphone browser, except it runs on just about any phone.

    Let’s ignore things like tabbed browsing, password saving, speed dials, and all that.

    Yeah, if you ignore the massive progress Opera Mini has made in the last few months, I suppose you could call them “complacent”.

    Some of us prefer to look at reality, though.

  2. Thanks for the review, Dennis. Though I found out some of the new features going through the menu, there’s a lot here that I didn’t know. Once Bolt introduces tabbed browsing too, it might become the best mobile browser overall. Opera Mini would be losing this coveted position through their complacency.

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