Every now and then I stumble onto something that really excites me. Today was one of those days.

Folks who know me know that I am a mobile device nut. Well, today I received an invitation to participate in a beta program for a new Windows Mobile 6 compatible browser called SkyFire http://www.skyfire.com/ .

 

It is a neat new concept for mobile browsers as it renders the entire page just as you would see it on a desktop and then allows you to zoom in to read the text. I was hopping around the Internet checking various sites and then I gave the MadCap Software home page a try and it rendered beautifully. Even the short movie at the top of the page animated properly. This really is a great new mini-browser. Then I got an idea. What about the tech support Knowledge Base that was published in WebHelp format? I pointed skyfire at the url and it loaded beautifully!

 Then I tapped over the WebHelp TOC (Table of Contents) and a little zoom marker appeared.

Clicking again on the zoom marker zoomed directly in on the WebHelp TOC allowing me to open/close books and select a topic.

I was then able to drag the screen to scroll around and read the topic.

 Now, I realize that this may not be the most exciting thing, but remember, this knowledge base was designed and built for a large desktop browser. Imagine creating a custom MadCap Flare Skin file optimized for this smaller screen size. For the first time fully interactive document access of a system of potentially thousands of pages of content with integrated search, table of contents, index, etc. all in the palm of your hand!

The folks working on skyfire are doing some pretty cool work and I will be spending some time figuring out how to best leverage this new browser for documentation purposes. My apologies if some of the screen shots above ended up a little “crunchy”, I assure you they looked pretty darn good before the jpeg compression. Just in case, I recorded a short little video of the process in case it helps to show things in a more meaningful manner than my excited ramblings.

 [googlevideo=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8477390557386059180&hl=en]

 

 

 

 

About The Author

About Mike Hamilton

Mr. Hamilton has over fifteen years of experience in training, technical communication, multimedia development, and software development. Prior to joining MadCap Software, he served as the Product Manager for Macromedia’s award-winning RoboHelp product line. Mr. Hamilton is often a featured speaker at industry events, including TEKOM and STC.

Last Modified: March 22, 2011

This entry was posted in MadCap Flare, MadCap Software, Tech Comm, Tips & Tricks, Windows Mobile. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments

  • forfear May 16, 2008 at 5:23 AM

    Nice post.
    however i think it has sparks of inspiration from the iphone browser.
    How did you capture screenshots on the device.
    Out of pure curiosity, how were the pictures and video captured so clearly.
    A digital camera on a tripod? or
    Are we actually looking at edited layered images/videos..

  • Mike May 30, 2008 at 12:35 PM

    The screen shots and video were done with an awesome little application called Pocket Controller Pro. Once installed this little app replicates my AT&T Tilt interface in a window on the desktop. Then I can take regular screen captures using MadCap Capture. For the video portion Pocket Controller Pro includes the ability to record in real time. It isn’t just for the Tilt however, the Tilt is just one “skin” file out of dozens that I could choose from. It definately makes it easy to take screen caps compared to the whole tripod / digicam thing.

    Mike

  • Tim Wicks-Frank June 17, 2009 at 4:01 PM

    Mike,

    Is there an emulator for Blackberrys that enables Flare concept links? Unfortunately, Skyfire is not available for Blackberrys.

    Thanks,
    Tim

    • Mike June 17, 2009 at 4:10 PM

      Hi Tim,

      I’m afraid I’m just not that up on the Blackberry tech, being a Windows Mobile guy and all. I do have a dev/tech that is big on Blackberry. Send me a note at mhamilton (at) madcapsoftware (dot) com and I’ll forward it over to him.

      Mike

  • Vern Thigpin June 14, 2010 at 12:46 AM

    Another Fantastic post, I will be sure to bookmark this post in my Digg account. Have a great evening.

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