We Have 1,000 2,500+ Private Beta Invites To Give Away. Details Below!
* UPDATE 2: Gotta love Private Betas! From Bitstream...
Sometime after noon Eastern today, the server handling the downloads "blew up." We are now in the process of switching over to a dedicated server we're confident can handle the demand. We appreciate everyone's patience. We expect the new server to be online by 4:00 PM Eastern today. Also, to those who have already downloaded BOLT, a big thank you. From feedback we've received just since yesterday we've already made improvements to BOLT, and our beta is only about 24 hours old.
* UPDATE: John from Bitstream sent me an email with some updated information on the Bolt Browser Private Beta....here's the update:
We were overwhelmed by requests to participate in the private beta, so this morning at 9:00 AM Eastern we cut over from a manual process to an automated one. We've already exceeded 1000 downloads on the CrackBerry code, and we're continuing to distribute download links to those who use it. The automated system still takes about 2 to 3 hours to process these requests. But if anyone has applied for a link before 9:00 AM ET and have still not received a link they can either reapply and get into the automated queue or wait until tomorrow when the backlog will be completed by hand.
Thanks to beta testers the BOLT browser has also been upgraded, just since yesterday. Yesterday we were sending links to build 0.7 and now we're sending links to 0.73. Beta testers identified some issues and they've been corrected. Most notably, people will notice that the trackball will scroll much easier now; it won't take as many scrolls to navigate. If anyone wants to get the new version to replace the old, the process is fairly simple. I haven't done it myself but I'm told they will be prompted to replace the existing install with the new version and also ask if they want to keep their current settings (which they should reply "yes").
At this moment we're not shutting down the private beta and will try to accommodate all the requests. We have shut down outreach to more so it's just those we've already engaged who are getting referral codes. We greatly appreciate the enthusiastic response from your readers, as well as the invaluable data we're collecting from their use which has already led to software improvements!
* Original Post: I received an email from Bitstream letting me know about their new J2ME mobile browser called Bolt. the Bolt mobile web browser is in Private Beta mode right now (you'll need an invite to download it) and as the name suggests is built for speed. Server side rendering makes it uber-fast and it's based on the WebKit engine and Bitstream's ThunderHawk browsing technology so the pages render accurately. Bolt does not support flash, but it will display YouTube vids which you can then launch and watch.
The Miracle on the Hudson River had me distracted from my inbox for a few hours, so it wasn't until later in the evening that I installed Bolt on my Bold and gave it a go. As you can tell from the time of this post and if you watch the video above, this smok'n hot web browser had me too excited to sleep so I figured I'd better put the time to productive use and get this post up asap. You can check out the video above for a slightly loopy hands-on overview of Bolt and for full details can view the Bolt browser fact sheet after the jump. Our buddy Doug has spent a few hours on Bolt too and has put together some initial observations that you may want to check out. Bolt is definitely still in beta... but you can call me IMPRESSED. I like speed and Bolt delivers.
Private Beta Invites: Bitstream gave us 1,000 invites to get CrackBerry Nation rocking on the beta of Bolt. If you want to give it a go, hurry on over to BoltBrowser.com and sign up using the referral code CrackBerry. Please keep in mind it is not an instant download. Once you register, Bitstream will get back to you (could take several hours) with your one time use download link. *
If you're lucky enough to download the beta, be sure to report back in the comments with your observations and findings. In the meantime, I'll start bugging the folks at Bitstream to up our # of Invites... 1,000 just isn't enough!