Cloud browser “Bolt” is history

Another "cloud browser" seems to have closed its doors.

WAP Review reported last week that the "Bolt" proxy browser service has been shut down due to "economic circumstances". The browser has been pulled from Android Market, and the browser's official site has been replaced by a brief text explaining the situation. Some of you may recall that I called out BitStream, the creators of Bolt, on their outlandish speed claims a couple of years ago.

There used to be a wider selection of "cloud browsers", but the list is now narrowing down considerably:

  • Skyfire shut down its worldwide proxy browsing service to focus on Western markets, and today it mostly seems to work as a video/media transcoding service on top of the system default browser
  • TeaShark created some initial headlines a few years ago, but apparently haven't been heard from since

The reason for this mostly seems to be that running these services is not exactly cheap, which we can definitely relate to. While Opera Mini is currently bringing in a lot of revenue, the expenses are also something we have to take into consideration. We've had to focus a lot on building efficient infrastructure, seeing as we're processing more than 86 billion pages every month!

And let's not forget that this is a highly competitive market.

Now Bolt is closing down, or at least the free service is.

But who knows, maybe they have some good engineers that would like to continue working on browsers. Remember: We're hiring!


12 thoughts on “Cloud browser “Bolt” is history

  1. I had to use Bolt browser sometimes when Operamini had trouble with some sites. Now it doesn't work? :sherlock: .I guess that Operamini is the last stand. :up:

  2. Why did the song 'and another one bites the dust' suddenly started playing in my head?Anyway… I'm happy for as long as opera doesn't become history…

  3. Bolt was a moderate competitor to Opera, but I never got it to work well on any of my javaphones. There was also the matter of bookmark sharing.Skyfire was a service that could possibly have functioned under a subscription model, it used bruteforce methods to make videos play on feature phones and iOS devices. As handhelds advanced and websites advance with them, this transcoding market has continued to shrink.I use Opera Mini most of the time because it nicely coexists with Opera Mobile on my phone. The average site loads quickly, looks good and functions well enough. No plugins, no animated advertisements, low CPU and low RAM usage allow me to open 30 tabs without breaking anything.

  4. Originally posted by ashikuv:

    It consumed lot less data than operamini.

    No, that has been proven to be wrong. Independent tests proved that Bolt was slower and had worse compression than Opera Mini.Also:Originally posted by ashikuv:

    Another thing bolt did great that it used desktop user agent always while browsing via operaming could lead u forcefully to the mobile site n sometimes u can't go to the regular desktop sites even if u want to. e.g. Facebook,twitter etc.

    This is a major contradiction on your part.Going to mobile sites will save you lots of data!If Bolt was never sent to mobile sites, it would use a lot more data than Opera Mini.The only reason why Opera Mini is sent to mobile sites and Bolt wasn't is that no one really knew about Bolt, while Opera is the #1 mobile browser worldwide.

  5. I usually used the 'bolt indic' version that allowed users to install additional regional fonts.As i am from bangladesh i installed bangla font on bolt n It consumed lot less data than operamini. I would like to see that feature in operamini if possible. I know this isn't the right place to request 4 feature. And I hope its not offtopic too. Forward my request to operamini team if possible. Another thing bolt did great that it used desktop user agent always while browsing via operaming could lead u forcefully to the mobile site n sometimes u can't go to the regular desktop sites even if u want to. e.g. Facebook,twitter etc.

  6. @upal…if you type in ' config: ' to get operamini's power user settings, and tick to use bitmap fonts server side, would that render Indic fonts for you?

  7. BOLTs last v. was halfway decent. It wasn't Opera Mini, but it was ok – especially on facebook. I haven't been able to login to twitter for months. Not on Opera Mobile, Mini, Bolt or UCWeb. m.Twitter doesn't even work well with my native browser. *shrug* Can't remember where I read it, but it's been said that Teashark was an alpha v of BOLT. BOLT was fun, it will be missed. It wasn't Opera Mini but it wasn't trying to be either. Honestly, I'm more worried about Saab going under than Bolt, you know.

  8. @chris U have misunderstood my point .. I mentioned the font related issue … Operamini consumes more data to show bangla fonts(renders complex scripts on their server) while bolt indic removes the hazzard by simply allowing me to install bangla fonts. e.g: Operamini is my browser of choice..use it 24/7 n even now commenting here. Its always most comprehensive data saving browser. 🙂

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