Hack 66. Try a Third-Party Web Browser

This alternative web browser is nice and quick; it also gives BWC users access to full HTML content and more.

If your company has a BlackBerry Enterprise Server with MDS enabled, then you've probably already got access to an excellent HTML web browser. If you're a BlackBerry Web Client user, then hopefully you're using the BlackBerry Internet Browser. Either way, this third-party browser has some pretty amazing features that are worth your consideration.

The Webviewer browser (provided by Reqwireless) has several features that set it apart from the built-in BlackBerry Browser. Not only can you read several more formats than with the built-in browser, but many users consider it to be much faster.

6.8.1. Install and Use WebViewer

Just like most current third-party applications, you can install WebViewer over the air (http://www.reqwireless.com/wap_bb) or download the archive suitable for installation through Application Loader at http://www.reqwireless.com/download-webviewer-bb.html. You will need to have configured your device for TCP/IP access for the browser to work [Hack #37].

WebViewer works much like the BlackBerry Browser does; it communicates directly to a gateway that proxies the HTTP requests. The gateway works in tandem with the browser to format the content optimally for your device. This framework is almost identical to the Mobile Data Service that comes with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.

Once installed, it works much as you'd expect a browser to work. On the main screen that appears after running the application, click the trackwheel and choose URL from the menu. Type the URL that you'd like to go to, click the trackwheel, and choose OK from the menu to initiate the request. Notice the excellent feedback given by the progress bar in Figure 6-22; this is one feature that sets it apart from the built-in BlackBerry Browser.

Figure 6-22. Loading a page in WebViewer

6.8.2. Unique Features

There are some other excellent features in WebViewer that the BlackBerry Browser has yet to match. WebViewer allows you to view individual cookies for particular domains. You are able to delete individual cookies, delete all the cookies for a particular domain, or delete all your cookies at once (see Figures 6-23 and 6-24). The BlackBerry Browser won't let you view any cookies, and if you want to delete one of them, you have to delete them all.

Not only can you view several file formats that the BlackBerry Browser cannot handle (Microsoft Word, Excel, PDF, WordPerfect, etc.), but WebViewer will also let you try to attempt to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on TIFF files and other images. Select any image in the browser and click the trackwheel. Choose OCR Image from the menu and WebViewer will make an attempt to "read" the text in the image. For example, it was able to read the O'Reilly logo in GIF format on the O'Reilly home page (http://www.oreilly.com), as shown in Figure 6-25. Although the OCR function isn't perfect, some readers might find a use for this feature.

Figure 6-23. Cookies by domain

Figure 6-24. Viewing and deleting an individual cookie

Figure 6-25. The OCR function in WebViewer

WebViewer also has had JavaScript support long before the BlackBerry Browser supported it. It also has nice support for frames. When the BlackBerry Browser encounters a page that uses frames, it displays a page that asks you which frame you'd like to display. Once you view one of the frames, the only way to view a different one is to go back using the Escape button not exactly an optimal user experience. WebViewer just goes ahead and displays the frames inline on the same page. Figures 6-26 and 6-27 show a page with frames in the BlackBerry Browser versus WebViewer. Notice with the BlackBerry Browser you can only view a single frame at a time, while WebViewer displays pages with frames.

Figure 6-26. Frames in the BlackBerry Browser

Figure 6-27. The same page in WebViewer

BlackBerry Hacks
Blackberry Hacks: Tips & Tools for Your Mobile Office
ISBN: 0596101155
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 164
Authors: Dave Mabe

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