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Bitstream Inc. develops software technologies and applications for the graphic art and mobile communications industries. Bitstream’s award-winning fonts and font technologies enable device manufacturers and application developers to render the highest quality text in any language, on any device, at any resolution. The company’s MyFonts brand is the world’s leading provider of fonts to consumers. Bitstream’s Pageflex brand enables marketers to easily produce customized communications in print, email, and online. The company’s latest offering is the BOLT mobile browser, which has been installed by millions of users worldwide since its release in February 2009.


Bitstream Mobile Technologies

BOLT Mobile Browser

BOLT Mobile Browser

The BOLT Browser is a web browser for mobile phones including feature phones and smartphones that can run Java ME applications. The BOLT Browser is offered free of charge to consumers and by license to mobile network operators and handset manufacturers.

BOLT was originally introduced into private beta on January 15, 2009 and was made available to the public on February 16, 2009 when the public beta was announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Today, BOLT can be installed on Java-based handsets with Java MIDP 2 and CLDC 1.0 or higher support. BOLT also has a specially optimized version for BlackBerry smartphones and works with Windows Mobile and Palm OS devices that employ a MIDlet manager or Java emulator. BOLT was built using the WebKit rendering engine to display a full Web page layout as found on desktop Web browsers.


Introduced in Public Beta

First Beta Release

Version 0.86

  • Fast, secure, desktop-style web browsing on both high-end and low-end handsets
  • Streaming video capabilities to websites such as YouTube,,,,, and
  • Support for XML, Atom and Resource Description Framework formats of RSS feeds
  • Split screen and full screen modes for easy navigation and viewing
  • Easily add and select favorites and view browsing history
  • Intuitive keystroke shortcuts for easier navigation and content selection
  • 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption for secure access to web pages
  • Server filtering to protect users from spyware and other malware
  • Certificate error notification
  • Ability to clear history and HTTP cookies
  • Support for JavaScript and Ajax


Version 0.94

  • Significantly improved BlackBerry scrolling speed and control
  • A new 3XL (extra large) magnification mode with content 33.3 percent bigger than in 2XL
  • Double tap approach to select links on touchscreen devices like the BlackBerry Storm (eliminates inadvertent clicks)
  • Wi-Fi auto-selection as default option when Wi-Fi is both enabled and available
  • Save and view pages locally on the phone
  • Support for folders in favorites
  • A new landscape viewing feature
  • Improved magnifier dragging in split screen mode on the BlackBerry Storm


Version 1.04

  • Copy and paste text
  • Enter and edit text directly within online text boxes
  • Upload files such as videos to YouTube or pictures to Photobucket
  • Order favorites and arrange them into custom folders
  • Toggle between viewing websites with or without images displayed
  • Support for Cyrillic alphabets
  • Addition of RuTube to supported video websites

Commercial Release

Version 1.5

Version 1.5

  • Cache Support to speed users’ ability to move quickly back and forth between the currently and previously viewed Web pages through the use of backward and forward navigation.
  • Download Manager for easy download of files directly from BOLT and the ability to save them to specific folders on the mobile phone (requires JSR75 support on the device).
  • Support for Streaming Videos of Any Length that overcomes limitations on some phones’ ability to stream videos of longer lengths. The new approach ensures video clips will play on all devices, for any length video.
  • Video Wizard to assist users in configuring their device for optimal video playback.
  • Dedicated Search Bar on home page, for easier and faster online searches.
  • Improved Ability to Manage RSS Feeds by allowing users to arrange and file feeds just as they do with their favorites and bookmarks.
  • Enhancements for Touch Screen Devices such as simple volume controls for the BOLT media player which now offers volume controls on the screen.
  • Enhancements for BOLT Servers in the cloud, which increase the already fast BOLT mobile browser by an additional 10 to 20 percent.

Version 1.6

Version 1.6

  • 100 percent score on Acid3 test
  • Socket support
  • Password manager
  • Ability to set as default BlackBerry browser

Version 1.7

Version 1.7

  • Widgets
  • Twitter integration
  • Keypad shortcuts for zooming
  • User interface can be set to Russian or Spanish languages
  • Support for simultaneous downloads

Second Generation

2.0 Beta

Version 2.0

  • Tabbed browsing
  • Facebook integration
  • WebKit upgrade to 4.03
  • Faster widgets

2.1 Commercial Release

  • HTML5 video support
  • Expanded Flash video support

BlackBerry Specific Features

Features available on the BlackBerry version of BOLT

  • Press the Space key to insert a period (.) in the URL address bar
  • Press the Escape key to move back to the previous Web page
  • On a Web page, press the Space key and the Shift key to move up a screen (feature not applicable for BlackBerry 8100, 8200, and 7100 series devices)
  • On a Web page, press the Space key to move down a screen (feature not applicable for BlackBerry 8100, 8200, and 7100 series devices)
  • Press T to move to the top of a Web page (feature not applicable for BlackBerry 8100, 8200, and 7100 series devices)
  • Press B to move to the bottom of a Web page (feature not applicable for BlackBerry 8100, 8200, and 7100 series devices).


  • January 15, 2009: BOLT was introduced as a private beta.
  • February 16, 2009: BOLT was made available via free public beta at Mobile World Congress.
  • April 1, 2009 – BOLT Beta2 was released at CTIA Wireless 2009 in Las Vegas, NV. This release included improvements, fixes to minor bugs and new features.
  • June 29, 2009 – BOLT Beta3 released, BOLT lite announced. Beta3 included major improvements, fixes to minor bugs and new features.
  • October 7, 2009 - BOLT 1.5 released. First commercial release marks end of beta testing.
  • March 23, 2010 - BOLT 2.0 Beta Version announced by the developer Bitstream Inc. The biggest change is the inclusion of tabbed browsing
  • May 24, 2010 - BOLT 2.1 Released, introducing support for HTML5 video


  • January 16, 2009 - BOLT private beta (ver 0.73) reviewed as the fastest mobile browser.
  • March 30, 2009 - BOLT (ver 0.86) reviewed as only browser for feature phones that can stream video.
  • May 29, 2009 - 1 in 6 BOLT users resides in India (current version Beta2 0.94).
  • June 23, 2009 - BOLT surpasses 1 million end-user installs (current version Beta2 0.94).
  • July 28, 2009 - BOLT surpasses more than 100 million Web pages rendered (current version Beta3 1.04).

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