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Skyfire for iPad hands-on (video)

Sam Sheffer
12.22.10
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What's better than using Skyfire on a 3.5-inch screen? Using it on a 9.7-inch one, of course! After tinkering with the new iPad browser, we've noticed that it has the same feel as its iOS brother and Android cousin, with a modified look to it. Features like private browsing, mobile or desktop view and bookmarks remain present -- and rest assured, the ability to watch Flash videos is still as easy as tapping a button. What's perhaps the most salient addition in this rendition is the social network integration. When the app is opened, you'll notice right away that it's got eight buttons along the bottom, four of which are Facebook related. These buttons, referred to as "quick view" by the peeps at Skyfire, give you, well, a quick view of the button you've tapped. For example, when the Facebook button is pushed, you're presented with a trimmed down the mobile version of the social network. The same goes with Twitter and Google Reader. The app also features Fireplace, which allows you to view specifically the links your Facebook friends have shared, and 'Popular', which shows all the related links your friends have shared based on what website the browser parked on, and of course a dedicated 'Like' button. The Share function lends you an easy way to share links via various popular networks.

As for the browsing experience itself, the devs at Skyfire did a great job ironing out the kinks that we stumbled upon in the iPhone version. Pages render nicely and quickly, pinch-to-zoom works as well as it does on Safari, scrolling is buttery smooth and Flash videos play noticeably quicker in comparison to what we experienced on the iPhone. The app is sadly not available in the App Store just yet, but hang tight, it's been submitted for approval and should hit virtual shelves soon.

Update: Video's now after the break!

Update 2: We just got word that it's been approved by Apple. It'll be available tonight at around 8PM EST and cost $4.99.


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