Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Phone 7
Users of Windows Phone 7 will know already that they have a great selection of custom-built Microsoft apps on board, from the OneNote, Word and Excel apps of Microsoft Office Mobile to the wonderfully easy to use multiple email account configuration to Internet Explorer.
The browser features a rendering engine that is described as being somewhere between Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8, and certainly the app does feel like those two desktop browsers in its ease of use and organisation of features.
Using Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Phone 7 can take a little getting used to – but you should soon get the hang of it after reading this guide.
Opening Webpages in the Windows Phone 7 Browser
The first thing you want to do with a browser is view web pages – and Microsoft have made it easy with the latest version of Internet Explorer Mobile. Launched via the Start screen, your browser – identified by the familiar “e” logo – provides you with an address bar with integrated Stop and Refresh buttons, as well as a menu at the foot of the page.
To visit a web page, tap the address bar and type in the URL. You will notice the keyboard will feature a .com button beside the spacebar – depending on your geographical location, holding this down for a couple of seconds will reveal other options. In the UK the choice is between .com, .co.uk, .org and .edu.
With the URL entered, the page will load when you tap the right-facing arrow key.
Viewing Web Content with the Windows Phone 7 Browser
As you read your web page, you might notice that certain elements are difficult to read, or the zoom setting means you need to scroll left or right or even zoom in. The Windows Phone 7 browser features different ways to view the content. For instance a web page displayed in full page view will feature very small text and be difficult to read. However, you will be able to view this text by double tapping - Internet Explorer Mobile will zoom in to read that column of text.
Another way to zoom in is to use the pinch zoom feature, whereby touching the display and pinching your forefinger and thumb will zoom out, and pulling them apart will zoom in.
One further viewing option is to flip your phone into landscape mode - Internet Explorer Mobile will follow, providing a preferable view, although note that both the address bar and the menu will be unavailable in this view.
Navigating the Windows Phone 7 Browser
To scroll through a web page, simply slide your finger across the screen in the required direction – you will notice that the web page effortlessly scrolls.
The menu at the foot of the browser offers three key items – one of these is Tabs, which takes you to a new view and displays any open tabs you might have running. Tabs can be closed by pressing the X in the corner of each thumbnail preview, while new tabs can be opened with the + icon in the menu.
There are some other very useful features in Internet Explorer Mobile.
• If a web page fails to load properly, you can tap the Refresh button (represented by two arrows) in the address bar.
• When a web page takes time to load, you can instruct the browser to stop by pressing the Stop (X) button in the address bar; this occupies the same space as the Refresh button when pages are loading.
• The phone’s Back button will allow you to go to the previous page.
• Using the menu you can Share Page via email, Find on Page lets you search the page for a specific word or phrase, and Pin to Start allows you to save the page as a favourite to the Start screen.
Favourites and History
There are a couple of other important buttons on the menu; Add allows you to add a new favourite website, while Favourites opens up the list of pages you have previously added. By scrolling left or right in the Favourites view, you can also access your browser History. Tapping any of these items will let you return to the site, while the Delete icon – represented by a bin – will let you delete your browsing history.
You can also Delete History via the Settings menu found via the main browser menu. This screen also provides configuration options, such as giving you the choice to store or block cookies, and choosing between Mobile and Desktop website versions.