Zumobi beta for Windows Mobile launches

Zumobi, or the company formerly known as ZenZui is making its new zooming web browser/interface for Windows Mobile available as a public beta today.

2007 seems to be going down as the year of the zooming interface for mobile devices. Apple released the iPhone with a version of the Safari web browser that lets you see whole pages or zoom in to see a smaller portion. Opera Mini 4 does the same for a variety of devices. And now Zumobi for Windows Mobile provides a zooming interface for accessing web content including Flickr, AP News, and some web-based games.

In the past, mobile browsing meant reading stripped down text-only versions of web sites. This made a lot of sense because cellphones and PDAs have small screens, and typically display lower resolutions than computer monitors. But just because you have a small screen doesn't mean you don't want to access rich content on websites.

The Zumobi approach gives you a screen with 16 tiles, and the option to zoom in so you just see 4 tiles at a time. Click on one to open the associated web app. Zumobi maintains a gallery of applications, so you can remove some of the tiles that come with Zumobi and install alternates. You can also develop your own, and share them with other users.

Zumobi also plans to release a BlackBerry version of its software during the second quarter of 2008, and an iPhone application sometime after Apple releases the iPhone SDK.

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