Sprint has announced it is rolling out OpenWave OpenWeb mobile browser to its mobile phone users, hoping to offer a mobile Web experience that’s closer to surfing the Web with a computer, rather than the compacted, constrained so-called “mobile Web” so many people complain about. With OpenWeb, pages will appear on mobile phones in a format that’s closer to using the Internet from a desktop computer: the service automatically adapts the layout of a Web page and reworks it to properly fit a particular phone’s screen, while offering automatic in-page navigation so users can quickly jump to the page’s most important data.
“Whether clicking through the Sprint portal or typing in a URL, both new and existing customers can use their Sprint phones to search virtually any Web site and it will appear quickly and in a format they’re used to seeing on their computer screens,” said Print VP of wireless product management Kevin Packingham, in a statement. “By working with Openwave, we’re making that Internet experience even more customer-friendly and useful by enhancing the ability to translate non-mobile sites onto the mobile phone.”
The new OpenWeb browser will be an automatic install for Sprint customers who currently access the Internet on their data-enabled phones (Sprint characterizes availability as “virtually all Web-capable Sprint phones”), and won’t require any additional action. Once installed, users will be able to access the Web just by clicking the Web icon on their phone’s main menu. OpenWeb should operate regardless of the memory or processing capability built into a particular phone: most of the heavy lifting is done by the back-end service before the data ever gets to the phone.
Sprint is the first carrier to run with OpenWave’s OpenWeb Internet browsing solution.