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Webkit-based browser heads for mobile Linux platform

Feb 13, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

Following up on its announcement that it would integrate Webkit HTML rendering technology into its Qtopia mobile phone platform, Trolltech licensed an open source, Webkit-based mobile browser. Torch Mobile's Iris Browser will become the latest member of Trolltech's Qtopia Greensuite third-party application ecosystem.

Torch Mobile's Iris Browser builds upon components of Webkit, says Toronto, Ontario-based Torch Mobile, which specializes in Webkit development. The mobile browser can render full Web pages in resource-constrained environments, and supports AJAX/Web 2.0 integration and dynamic user interfaces. Its WebKit-based core is said to be independent from the upper application and user-interface layers, enabling easier customization. The Iris Browser will join a growing list of Greensuite applications that run on top of the Qtopia platform.

Iris running on a Windows Mobile emulator
(Click either to enlarge)

Earlier this week, Trolltech announced that release 4.4 of its Qt application framework would integrate Webkit, a rendering engine best known for its use in Apple software, including the iPhone. Due in “mid-Q2,” the release would coincide with the general time frame that Nokia expects to complete its pending acquisition of Trolltech. The integration into Qt should result in fewer differences between the desktop and mobile versions of Qt-based applications like Google Earth and iTunes, says Trolltech, making it easier for developers to port interfaces and integrate live web content and services on both mobile and desktop applications.

Qtopia architecture

Stated George Staikos, President of Torch Mobile, “With Qtopia and the Greensuite initiative we found a great platform for the Iris Browser, and we're excited to have been selected by Trolltech as their partners in this initiative.”


Trolltech did not provide further details on how and when the Iris Browser would be integrated in Greensuite, but the Qtopia 4.3-compatible Iris Browser is available for download now at the Torch Mobile site.

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