Nokia yesterday released its open-source mobile Web browser that is based on Safari technologies, WebCore and JavaScriptCore.

It also launched a new portal to share information about its open-source activities.

In June, Nokia announced that it was developing an open-source browser for phones that use its S60 smartphone software platform. The browser, now available to licensees of S60 3rd Edition, is based on the WebCore and JavaScriptCore components of Apple Computer's Safari Web kit. Safari, Apple's browser, is based on KHTML and KDE's JavaScript Engine, developed as part of KDE's Konquerer open-source project. Nokia and Siemens build phones based on the S60 platform.

The browser will display Web pages to mobile phone users just as the page developers designed the page, Nokia said. It also includes pop-up blocking, access to RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds and a text search feature.

Mobiles warming to the grown-up Web

In June, Nokia said it was keen to develop the open-source browser to improve the way that all websites are displayed on mobiles. Typically, sites are specially designed for mobile phones. Sites that aren't optimised for mobile phones are often awkward to view on the small screens on handsets.

With the availability of higher speed wireless data networks, operators and handset makers are increasingly working to open up the entire Web, not just the sites optimised for small screens, to mobile users. For example, T-Mobile in Germany, Austria and the UK recently launched a new mobile service that features Google as the Web browser start page, encouraging mobile users to access any site on the Internet.

Also on Wednesday, Nokia launched a portal,, as a source of information for all of its open-source projects. The goal of the portal is to share Nokia's open-source developments in order to encourage further innovation by open-source developers, the company said.

In addition to the open-source browser, Nokia is working on two other open-source projects. Nokia's Maemo development platform is an open-source platform for developing products for Linux-based Internet tablets. Nokia's 770, the tablet that includes Wi-Fi but not cellular connectivity, is based on Linux.

The other project is the Python programming language, which Nokia is porting to the Series 60 platform.