After listing all the launcher’s applications, we will now see how the browser works. Beside the browser (MidBrowser), Ubuntu MID contains a mail client (Claws Mail), a chatting client (Pidgin), a VoIP application (Ekiga) and an RSS reader (Liferea) – these will be presented in the next article.
Although I made networking active in QEmu, Ubuntu MID did not connect to the network. I had to choose the network button and tap on “Wired Network”. So you can control whether it connects to your (Wireless) LAN or mobile phone network or not, but perhaps there will be an option to start the connection automatically, too.
The browser is called “MidBrowser”, but it works exactly as Firefox 3.0: It has not only the same engine (Gecko), but the same settings dialogues, the same bookmark management, download manager and plugin system. If you are a Firefox user like me, you will find again the same features you use on your desktop machine.
Every site I opened was rendered correctly. It couldn’t display YouTube videos, either. But when you install a Flash plugin, this should be no problem.
When I tried to install a plugin (SwitchProxy), it was downloaded, but the installation failed because of the wrong browser (MidBrowser, but it expected Firefox). But after a small modification, this should work too – SwitchProxy didn’t even work on my desktop’s Firefox 3.0, as it expected version 2.x, so the version number had to be added.
The first two pictures show the homepage of MidBrowser in two different zoom levels. As the new Firefox / MidBrowser also supports image zooming, this may be a useful feature when viewing big sites on the small screen (resolution).
Google Maps also works! When I tried to use Google Street View however, there was a message that no Flash player is installed. The fourth image shows the browser’s RSS reader and on the last image you can see different tabs.
The first image shows what happens when you tap on a link to a file (in this case, a MS Word document) – you may know this dialogue already from Firefox. It recommends opening this file in OpenOffice – but there is no OpenOffice in the launcher?! – more about that later. You also see the download manager in the second image, the settings dialogue in the third one and a plugin installation in the fourth one.
The user agent of this browser is:
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9) Gecko/2008061813 Firefox/3.0
This browser seems to be the right choice for Ubuntu MID. It has one of the best rendering engines and can be customized very well (many plugins, which are availible for Firefox, can be modified to run also on MidBrowser). In the next article, we will show the other communication programs.