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Monday, March 01, 2010

Google Buzz (and Wave) on Symbian S60 devices

I recently expressed some dismay over the fact that it was impossible for me to view my full Google Buzz stream on my Nokia N95 8GB.

I've since learned that the S60 3rd Edition browser is more than capable of running the Google Mobile web-app created for the iPhone. It supports most of the same standards, including AJAX. Apparently the only thing preventing a Nokia user from viewing the iPhone webapp is that Google only presents it to browsers identifying themselves as an iPhone (or presumably also an Android device).

I can only guess why Google would decide to do that. But until that policy changes, or I get my new Android device on my next upgrade, I'll have to work around it.

And I've figured out a way to do it. It's clumsy and inelegant, but it will work in a pinch. The added bonus is that it also works for Google Wave... albeit equally clumsily.

The workaround is pretty simple: install the Skyfire mobile browser.

Skyfire uses some sort of web proxy magic so as to present the full desktop version of a site. That includes Gmail (with Buzz), Google Wave, and presumably any other desktop site you need to display on your mobile device.

Gmail on Skyfire (with my awesome LCARS custom theme)
Google Buzz on Skyfire
Google Wave on Skyfire

As a rule I prefer not to use 3rd-party browsers on my device because there's no way to set them as the system default. I also find Skyfire rather awkward to use, what with all the panning and zooming. But in an emergency it'll do the trick.

If anyone knows of a better trick, share!