Bitstream has announced that the upcoming version of its Bolt mobile browser will include the ability to run Web applications, or “widgets.”

The new Bolt Widgets capability will be introduced in beta as part of the forthcoming 1.7 version of Bolt, to be released at Mobile World Congress on February 15, 2010.

Although Bolt already runs website-based applications written in Ajax, Javascript and other Web programming languages, such as the popular Facebook game Mafia Wars and Google Docs, the new Web apps will be installed directly within Bolt and thus will load and execute faster. Bolt users will be able to discover, select and install specific applications through the Bolt Widget Gallery. Bolt will also display an iconic list of all installed apps, allowing users to quickly find and use them directly within Bolt.

“As many of the recent mobile and wireless trade shows have demonstrated, mobile applications are part of the mainstream mobile experience,” said Sampo Kaasila, vice president of research and development at Bitstream. “However, the vast majority of phones in use today are 'feature phones' not smartphones. Unfortunately for the users of these billions of feature phones, it isn't easy to find, install and run mobile applications. By adding Web apps to Bolt, Bitstream is not only improving the usability of our mobile browser, we are also making it possible for literally billions of people to partake in the mobile apps revolution.”

Using cloud computing technology to support Web applications allows Bolt to offer increased functionality to the broad spectrum of devices Bolt already runs on, even the most basic mobile phones.

Bolt Web applications are written as standard W3C widgets, a standard with broad industry support.

Tags: , , ,