I have written in the past about lack of Tamil unicode rendering support in all popular smartphones (iPhone, Windows Mobile, Nokia). This week one of my colleague who uses a Windows Mobile 6.0 (HTC branded) phone showed me SkyFire browser. SkyFire is a free mobile browser that uses a proprietary proxy server technology to encode all Web contents (Text, Images, Videos, Flash, Silverlight) at their server that gets rendered in the Mobile client. Because of this technology the individual device limitations don’t affect their ability to render any language.
(Mobile IE not able to render Unicode Tamil)
(Windows Mobile running Skyfire displaying fine Unicode Tamil web pages)
SkyFire is a great technology and seeing Tamil being rendering seamlessly makes me happy. But I am sceptical on the success of SkyFire – First, Mobile devices processing power are increasing every day to support iPhone Safari like true desktop browsers itself without need of a proxy server; Second, I don’t see a viable revenue model on how SkyFire will make money to run the operations especially the high server costs. Nevertheless a cool technology for now. If you have a Windows Mobile give it a try, better than waiting for IE 6.0 in Windows Mobile or WM 7.0 :-)