Nokia launches open-source browser

Nokia Corp. on Wednesday said its open-source mobile Web browser is now available. It also launched a new portal to share information about its open-source activities.

In June, Nokia announced that it was developing an open-source browser for phones that use its S60 smartphone software platform. The browser, now available to licensees of S60 3rd Edition, is based on the WebCore and JavaScriptCore components of Apple Computer Inc.’s Safari Web kit. Safari, Apple’s browser, is based on KHTML and KDE’s JavaScript Engine, developed as part of KDE’s Konquerer open-source project.

Nokia and Siemens AG build phones based on the S60 platform.

The browser will display Web pages to mobile phone users just as the page developers designed the page, Nokia said. It also includes pop-up blocking, access to RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds and a text search feature.

In June, Nokia said it was keen to develop the open-source browser to improve the way that all Web sites are displayed on mobile phones.

Typically, Web sites are specially designed for mobile phones. Web sites that aren’t optimized for mobile phones are often awkward to view on the small screens on handsets.

With the availability of higher speed wireless data networks, operators and handset makers are increasingly working to open up the entire Web, not just the sites optimized for small screens, to mobile users. For example, T-Mobile in Germany, Austria and the U.K. recently launched a new mobile service that features Google as the Web browser start page, encouraging mobile users to access any Web site on the Internet.

Also on Wednesday, Nokia launched a portal,, as a source of information for all of its open-source projects. The goal of the portal is to share Nokia’s open-source developments in order to encourage further innovation by open-source developers, the company said in a statement.

In addition to the open-source browser, Nokia is working on two other open-source projects. Nokia’s Maemo development platform is an open-source platform for developing products for Linux-based Internet tablets.

Nokia’s 770, the tablet that includes Wi-Fi but not cellular connectivity, is based on Linux.

The other project is the Python programming language, which Nokia is porting to the Series 60 platform.

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