One of the big changes for BlackBerry 6 was the shift to a WebKit browser. This promised a much better experience than the previous Blackberry browser, which had been the target of vicious ire. When I had the Bold last summer I had few complaints, but I now believe that’s because any browser is better on a touchscreen. Now that I’m using the browser with the Bold I’m less impressed. But it’s still an improvement, and it still brings plenty of features. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can do with it. In the screenshot* you can see a portion of the address bar highlighted, with the number 2 in it. This is your tabs manager. Click it and you’ll go to the tabs pane, where you can select from among your open tabs. It’s not the greatest tabbed browsing system, but it works well enough — and it’s infinitely better than no tabbed browsing at all. Next to it is a globe icon that provides you with many useful functions. Click it and you’ll have the option to:
- Add to bookmarks
- Add an icon to your home screen, which I find insanely useful.
- Subscribe to the RSS feed, which is especially nice for sites that don’t feature a subscription icon in a prominent place.
- Send page address by email, text message, group message, messenger contact, PIN, social feeds, or Twitter. I’ve most frequently used this to email myself sites to visit on my desktop.
- Copy page address, though with the send page option I haven’t frequently used this.
You can also view your bookmarks and your browsing history from this page. There’s also the GoTo screen, still accessible from the full menu, which still displays your bookmarks and recent browsing history. If you’re visiting a non-mobile site, which seems to happen just about all the time, you’ll notice that your cursor is a magnifying glass. Click it to zoom. That will also arrange the text to fit on the screen, which is an essential feature. You can also zoom manually by holding down the Alt key and scrolling up (for zoom in) or down (for zoom out), but this will not arrange the text. Selecting and copying text is a bit easier in OS 6, too. You can still select a passage by holding down the left Shift key and scrolling, but instead of opening up the full menu to either copy or cancel the selection, you can just click and hold the trackpad. That will bring up a contextual menu with both options. You can also start selecting text by holding down the trackpad and selecting Select. My biggest gripe is that there aren’t any browser shortcut keys. I hit R to refresh the page and nothing happened. Of course, I can just click the trackpad and Refresh appears as an option. Back and Forward also appear, depending on where you are in your navigation. The contextual menu also contains Add Link to Bookmarks, Open Link in New Tab, and Send Link. Still, I’d liked to have shortcut keys as before. Are there any browser hints you’ve been using that you’d like to share? * I apologize for the watermark in recent screenshots. I’m not happy with ZonaSnap, the app I bought. I’ll have to get a new one tout de suite.