Handspring today announced the release of Blazer 2.0, a new version of its award-winning web browser, designed to provide Palm OS handheld computers and communicators with fast access to a full range of web content.
Blazer 2.0 offers all of the features of the original Blazer, but with improved speed, enhanced security for online transactions, and new features to allow faster and easier access to web content. Blazer 2.0 is available now for $19.95 from www.handango.com
Both Handango and PalmGear will email their Blazer 1.1 customers instructions on downloading a free upgrade to Blazer 2.0.
"Internet browsing is quickly becoming one of the core applications for handhelds and communicators. We believe that one day people will use wireless devices even more frequently than desktop computers to access the Internet," said Joe Sipher, vice president of product marketing at Handspring. "Blazer 2.0 is an important step in making this vision a reality with its improved performance, stronger security, and ease of use. Blazer works great on many Palm OS devices with an Internet connection, and we've optimized it to take advantage of the QWERTY keyboard and jog rocker in our upcoming Treo communicator products."
The Blazer web browser provides fast access to almost any site on the Internet, not just those web sites designed exclusively for mobile access. Support for color graphics, personalization, bookmarks and enhanced security enables Blazer to provide a rich, full Internet experience optimized for Palm OS handhelds and communicators. Blazer supports all major existing wireless web browsing standards, optimizing HTML, WML and cHTML content for viewing on a handheld display. Blazer also supports access to secure web sites through encryption technology from Certicom. Its intuitive graphical interface provides one-touch access to key functions, such as the homepage, backward and forward navigation, go to web page and bookmarks.
Through partnerships with Microsoft and Google, Blazer also provides quick access to popular web sites. A mobile QuickStart page, powered by MSN Mobile, offers one-touch access to news, stock quotes, driving directions, weather and more. The search capability provided by Google enables fast, accurate web searches. Furthermore, a directory of mobile web sites provides a listing of third-party sites that have optimized content for small-screen devices
Blazer 2.0 has several new features including enhanced bookmarks, 128 bit SSL encryption and faster browsing while connected to the Internet. The new security features support additional security types, including proxy and HTTP authentication, and viewing of secure web pages over HTTPS, which allow users to make purchases and shop online with complete confidence.
In addition, browsing performance has been improved, making page rendering and navigating on the Web with Blazer faster than ever before. Also new in Blazer 2.0 is the ability to select the homepage that first appears when Blazer is launched. Virtually any web site on the Internet can be set as Blazer's homepage.
Sprint licensed the Blazer browser software to bring a more graphical and colorful browsing experience on the Sprint PCS Wireless Web to customers using Palm OS wireless devices, including the QCP-6035 Sprint PCS Phone by Kyocera, Sprint PCS Wireless Web Palm Connection and Adapter Kits for the Palm III or Palm V using Palm OS 3.5 and higher, the Palm Powered SPH-I300 Sprint PCS Phone by Samsung and the upcoming Sprint PCS Wireless Web Digital Link Springboard module for Handspring Visor.
Sprint customers using these devices will be able to download a free upgrade of Blazer 2.0 from www.sprintpcs.com. Intel Corporation licensed the Blazer browser for the SpringPort Wireless Ethernet Springboard module, which enables 802.11b connectivity for Handspring Visors. OmniSky Corporation, the award-winning provider of wireless email and Internet services for users of mobile devices, was the first company to license Blazer for faster web browsing and access to more web sites for its customers.
Blazer 2.0 will work on Visor handhelds running Palm OS 3.1 or higher, and other Palm OS handhelds and communicators, such as the Handspring Treo, running Palm OS 3.5 or higher with a minimum of 8MB of memory. Other requirements include 400K of free memory, a wireless or wireline modem, an Internet service provider and wireless service.