Deepfish is a new mobile browser from Microsoft, aimed at their windows mobile edition and Smartphone OS. I was lucky to get a test version and play with it a bit:
Installation – I had to install .net framework on my laptop before I could install the application on my synced i-mate KJAM.
First activation – worked like a charm, though the activation code is 16 digits. I had to use my fingernail in order to type it. Why can’t they do shorter codes?
Usability – the application is based on a nice concept. When you download a page, you get a lossy-compressed version of it, so it pops up quickly. Then you can zoom on specific parts of the page, using the phones joystick and tapping the screen.
It really looks great on paper (or post) but after working with it for 10 minutes I gave up. It took me a lot of time to understand how to operate the zoom window, and it is not intuitive at all (contrary to their description). Also, the concept of zooming around the page is not the way I am used to read web pages. A web page is not a newspaper, where you can zoom on specific articles. In most cases you want to see the full landing page, before reading specific article. In the lossy compression mode, it is impossible to read texts, and you can hardly identify faces in pictures. Furthermore, links behave inconsistently- not all links are working, and when tapping the zoom window, sometimes you find yourself in linked pages.
I played with it for a while, using GPRS network, and the first impression is very good, because sites appear almost instantly (in GPRS terms). But still, the zooming mechanism just gave me sea-sickness.
More to come…