Development of the Irs web browser has continued during 2020, with RISC OS Developments providing updates to their shareholders in June and August. So how is it developing?
The August update of Iris sees a number of important improvements. Most importantly, the version of Webkit used has been updated to the much more recent v2.28.4 release. This will provide even better compatibility with tricky websites. It is also now compiled with a later release of GCC which should provide more optimised compilation. The August release definitely feels much more responsive in use.
The release itself is supplied as a zip file containing !Iris. There is also a program to terminate the browser (which I have never had cause to use) and some alternate sprites. Installation is simply a matter of dragging the !Iris application to Apps or another location and deleting www directory in Choices if you had an old version installed.
RISC OS Developments are keen to stress that this is still very much a beta version and manage expectations accordingly. In the Readme, R-Comp way they are not currently asking for bug reports. They have a list of issues which are being fixed.
I am running Iris on a Titanium (and personally not sure I would want to run on anything slower). It does now feel like a proper RISC OS application. The scale, Find and Bookmarks manager all work really nicely and the application feels reasonably stable and robust. It feels sluggish compared to a fast PC/Mac but we do now have usable browsing on the RISC OS platform. This is the first release I have been using for real browsing on the internet.
There is still lots to do... The number one thing I would personally like to see is the saving of passwords so I do not keep having to manually type in. I use 1password to store all my logins for websites and have to manually setup each time. It would also be really nice if any words or phrases which were typed into the URL window (ie not http:, https:, file: www.) were sent to a search engine.
Are you using Iris and what do you think of it?