Opera Mini has competition, but who is TeaShark?!?
Someone emailed me this a week or so ago, but I wasn't sure if it was for public consumption or not, so I didn't post about it, but it looks like they're online now. TeaShark is a new Java-based proxied mobile browser like Opera mini, but based on WebKit. You can check out a YouTube video of the new browser here. It looks pretty nice.
I couldn't download the app from their wap site for whatever reason (it was barfing on me) but I was eventually able to throw the .jar on my server and get it onto my LG CU500. The GUI is pretty much the same as Opera mini's - you start out with a search box, bookmarks and history page, and then you can browse pages with the same sort of zoom-in, zoom-out approach that the newer mobile browsers use. It's not as polished as Opera's new beta by any stretch - the columns aren't resized, for example, and there were lots of font problems - but in general the app was fast to load pages and worked pretty well.
So... who the hell are these guys? TeaShark? Is that a code name or the actual product name and/or company? The whois info has them registered using DomainsByProxy, which makes me think someone doesn't want to be known. I hate to be Mr. Paranoid, but is this a Google thing in disguise or an actual startup?
Regardless, using webkit on the back end is a pretty great idea (if a no-brainer considering what a great example Opera has given us all). If I had the technical chops for it, I would have tried something like that myself for Mowser...
Interesting - we'll have to keep an eye on these guys. Even if Opera mini has a huge lead now, there still *lots* of room in the mobile market for other players.