Nokia has released a brand new app for its Windows Phone devices that promises to make mobile web browsing a far less painful experience. Xpress is its name, and it’s currently available as a free beta download.
Xpress capitalises on the work Nokia has been doing with its budget Asha range in recent years. The web browser on Nokia’s latest feature phones cuts down data usage by as much as 90 per cent, which is a massive plus in less developed countries where data charges are prohibitive and the mobile is often the only way to connect to the internet.
It seems that Xpress is bringing these data-saving practices to Nokia’s high-end Windows Phone devices. Nokia claims that the new app compresses data by up to 85 or 90 per cent (Nokia can’t seem to decide) by utilising cloud technology. One happy side effect of this is that browsing the web with Xpress uses up less battery power.
The new Xpress beta really runs with the whole data-saving angle, featuring as it does a data usage monitor – similar to that found on the more recent versions of Android. Another great data-saving feature found in Xpress is that it lets you save videos you might want to watch to your SkyDrive account without costing you any data. You can then watch it back later when you get to a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Xpress isn’t just about saving you pennies, though – it’ll also save you time. It has an RSS feature built into it that takes your favourite websites and pushes the content into an easily digestible magazine format. It also provides quick links to your most frequently visited sites.
Another clever feature relates to search. If you tap on a word on a web page, Xpress will find you related search content from Wikipedia, Bing and YouTube.
Finally – translations. Xpress has built-in one-touch translation software. Just select the ‘Translate to’ option when you’re on a foreign website and Xpress will do the rest for you.
Xpress is available now as a beta download from the Nokia Beta Labs website. You’ll need to have a Nokia Lumia phone to run it.
With HTC surprising everyone with its commitment to (and cheekily Lumia-aping) Windows Phone 8 plans, Nokia is going to have to focus on its unique software offerings as much as its distinctive hardware design. Xpress could join Nokia Drive as the best example of this yet.