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Xiino Update: Now Works as Default Browser

The other day I mentioned that although Xiino was the favourite browser on my Treo I was unable to set it as the default browser in Preferences and thus use it to launch specific URL’s via the Favorites buttons.  However, I learned [thanks steveccc] that Xiino’s latest version (3.4.1E) has now resolved this issue.

For those who are not familiar with Xiino and might be wondering why they would possibly want to replace the free bundled Blazer browser on their Treo with a new $29.90 application I have one word to explain it – speed.

As I had written about in the Faster Mobile Browsing post a few months ago, Xiino often performs at twice the speed of Blazer and also caches pages so that you can quickly go back and forth between previously loaded pages without having to wait to reload (as Blazer does).  Xiino does have a few shortcomings, principally in that it does not perform well with encrypted or password protected sites (such as banks) but in my opinion the overall speed more than makes up for this.

Now that Xiino can be set as my default browser I actually get even more speed benefits from it – particularly when I have set a Web Link to a website that I may visit regularly as a Favorite button.

To select Xiino 3.4.1E as your default browser you need to:

  • Go to Prefs in your Applications and there choose Default Apps to make your change.
  • Go to your Favorites page (Phone > 5Way down) and select an empty button.
  • Select Option > Record > Edit Favorites Button.  I chose to use the entire page 2 of my Favorites for my most frequently accessed websites (you can have 14 per page).

  • In the Add Favorite screen select Type > Web Link then enter a name for your bookmark, its URL and a Quick Key launcher if you want (in this case I chose ‘W’ for Wapipedia.org.  Select OK and close.
  • Test that your bookmark is working and that Xiino has been properly set as your default browser.  The first thing that Xiino will do when you launch the bookmark is check whether the requested URL already exists in cache and if it doesn’t asks you if you’d like to connect now or on the next sync.
  • If you selected ‘now’, if not already connected, Xiino will open your data connection and download the requested page.

However, thanks to Xiino’s excellent cache system after you’ve loaded a URL at least once the next time it will launch instantly – it really is superbly fast.  Additionally, you can save any webpage that you’ve visited permanently to your SD card so that any simple pages will always quickly load this way.

From within Xiino, click ‘Select’ at the bottom left, then ‘File’ and the info page on the right of each URL and finally select ‘Copy to Card’.  From here onwards you’ll be able to open the URL saved to card cache almost instantaneously.

For me speed is of the essence and if one application can save me even one click then it will get my vote.  In this respect, Xiino delivers on this and more.

You can download a 30 day evaluation copy of Xiino 3.4.1E [Mobirus]

You may also want to read Mobile Impressions to find a few more Treo-optimized sites to add to your Favorites.

Treonauts are addicted to speed

Posted by Andrew on July 13, 2005 at 03:37 PM

Treo Software | Browser

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» Dear Treo650 Posse from seanbonner
Any of you had any experience with Xiino? Sounds interesting...... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 14, 2005 12:44:14 AM


by Mike Hardy | Jul 13, 2005 6:41:33 PM

I tried xiino, and my favorite test use case "Can it do http://maps.yahoo.com/dd well" failed.

When you log in, and yahoo loads your saved locations in there, you can select them but xiino messes up the javascript select box handler somehow, and the saved location data doesn't populate the form fields.

So it breaks for things Blazer handles well...I'm thinking blazer with the images off is probably fast enough.

I like your favorites button / url bookmark linkage though. That's nice.

by Ben Held | Jul 13, 2005 7:53:34 PM

Do you have to get rid of Blazer to use Xiino, or can you choose between the two. I like to check my bank account info, and if Xiino isnt strong in that area I'd want to be able to switch over to Blazer

by david | Jul 13, 2005 8:13:37 PM

Tried to choose Xiino as my default browser in Prefs ... I have latest version ... but it only shows Web, and no other choices. I moved Xiino from my SD card to RAM, still nothing. I have unlocked Cingular with latest "unlocked gsm" update.

Any ideas just to get the Default Apps Pref to list more choices?
(btw: it does list two choices for email...Versa and Snapper, which I use.)


by Andrew | Jul 13, 2005 8:23:02 PM

Mike - as I mentioned Xiino has some issues with some sites. Once you know which then you can use Blazer for those.

Ben - Blazer and Xiino can coexist quite happily.

David - please make sure that you have version 3.4.1E and not just 3.4E installed as I had the same issue as you until I realised that I didn't have the very latest version.

Cheers, A.

by David | Jul 14, 2005 1:18:25 AM

Thanks Andrew. I DO have 3.4.1E. But not able to set Xiino as default. Sigh.

by Tom | Jul 14, 2005 2:50:07 PM

I tried Xiino a couple of months ago, and found it seriously lacking in fit and finish. It felt sloppy and careless, and I expect more from an application I'm asked to pay for.

For example, Snappermail is just about the greatest thing since sliced bread and shames Versamail, so I happily paid for it. They proved to have great support too. Is it really too much to ask for a fast _and_ good browser on the best smartphone platform in the world?

by A. Davis | Jul 14, 2005 4:17:43 PM

David - who's your phone through? Andrew has an unlocked GSM unit, and thus has the stock (though recently upgraded) Palm ROM that Xiino is built against. If you have a branded phone (Cingular, Sprint, Verizon, or Orange), they may have a customized ROM that may be prevent the "alternate" browser option. From the carrier's perspective it cuts on customer service-related issues. Keep in mind that most carriers pre-program Blazer to go to a custom URL or portal of the carrier as the default homepage and thus don't want you to change things and circumvent this. After all, they make more money if you're using their web page and buying your ringtones and other crap via them. If you have an unlocked version, I'd suggest emailing the Xiino guys. They have good pre-sales support available via email. You can also check their forum. If you have a branded phone, its most likely the customized ROM that is to blame. You can still ask the Xiino developers, but this may simply not work for you... :)

by A. Davis | Jul 14, 2005 4:25:43 PM

Personally, I'm holding out for a future when I'll be able to get a version of Opera or Minimo (Mozilla) for my Treo. Sadly, their both available for most platforms except for Palm. :(

What would really be nice is a current release of NetFront. As I understand it, the newer Blazer on our 650's is based on NetFront. However, the most releases of NetFront include A) tabbed browsing support and B) the ability to cache pages on an SD card if one is present. Sadly, our Blazer, despite being NetFront based, doesn't offer the tabbed browsing and Palm never allows any core app to use an SD card for much of anything since it could then fail if the card were removed (apparently Palm doesn't understand that the vast majority of us put in a 512Mb, 1Gb, or 2Gb card and never swap it out unless we're transferring files to/from it).

by david | Jul 15, 2005 12:40:00 AM

in answer to above:
phone is cingular. subsidy unlocked. upgraded to latest GSM ROM software and firmware. works great ... too bad cannot choose alternate broswer in PREFS. also wish Opera or Mozilla options were available.

by chuck | Dec 12, 2005 1:50:05 PM

tried Opera Mini and don't get it... I don't know where to type in URL etc. It departs to far from the browser concept I am used to. Like Xiino so far but was scared to make it default browser at install. NOw I don't know how to make it the default browser on my treo600. Any ideas? I dont' have the options Andrew metioned in the above article... I assume he is using a Treo650.

by Wilman | Jan 27, 2006 11:35:11 PM

I downloaded Opera MIni to my Treo 650, and i am impresed. Its a preaty nice browser... and the pages load alot faster than Treo's default browser

by bob | Aug 30, 2007 3:53:24 PM

Does anyone know how to set Blazer back to the default browser after Xiino has been set to be the default? I can't find this option anywhere in Blazer.


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