Internet Explorer on Windows Phone

February 10, 2011, By Christian Cawley

One of the key requirements of almost all cellphones – particularly smartphones – is that they come with a usable browser installed, and Windows Phone 7 doesn’t disappoint.

Using a variant of the Internet Explorer 7 browser (not that you would notice), Windows Phone 7 allows you to visit a variety of different websites, although note that flash and Ajax and other scripting are not fully supported at present (this is expected to change with future updates).

Despite this the vast majority of websites remain available, ready to be viewed with Internet Explorer Mobile and your finger and thumb.

Using Internet Explorer on Windows Phone

Internet Explorer on Windows Phone – Basic Use

To get started with your browser, find the tile bearing the Internet Explorer “e” logo – by default this should be on the Start screen, although you might also find it on the Programs list.

With this running and your phone connected to the mobile internet or a local wireless network you should find that the browser will open and display your home page.

Keeping the phone in portrait orientation will allow you to access the address bar; tapping here highlights the contents of this and allows you to delete or overtype the current URL with that of a website of your own choice, while the Refresh button on the left of the address bar doubles as a Stop button when the pages are loading. You can return to previously viewed pages with the phone’s back button (bottom left).

Meanwhile at the foot of the view you should three options – Add, Favourites and Tabs, which can be used to add to your favourites, view your list of favourite bookmarks and view and open a new tab; up to six tabs are available.

Internet Explorer Mobile – User Interface

With the Windows Phone 7 browser you can scroll around web pages with your thumb and zoom in and out by double-tapping with your finger.

However the optimum browsing experience is enjoyed by flipping your phone into landscape view; here, the page you are currently viewing with resize, offering a better reading experience, although note that the address bar and menu options will not be removed in favour of the fullscreen view.

Here you can really take advantage of the zoom and scroll tools; the best is the “pinch to zoom” feature. In order to zoom into a particular area of the web page – perhaps an image or a link you want to tab to move to a new webpage, place your index finger and thumb on the display of your Windows Phone and gently spread them apart. Zooming out is achieved by pinching your fingers back together.

Internet Options

There are a few things you might like try with Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Phone 7; a few menu options are provided for you to get the most out of the browser.

Tilting your phone back into portrait mode should reveal the menu bar across the bottom of the screen; you can view what is hidden here by dragging the three ellipses […]. In the Settings menu you will see some interesting options – for instance you can control the use of website cookies on your phone, as well as toggle whether Bing will suggest websites as you type.

Additionally you can decide whether the websites you’re visiting are optimised for viewing on mobile devices; if preferred you can opt to view the desktop version of the site. Finally, the Internet Explorer settings screen on Windows Phone 7 will allow you to Delete History, clearing out all temporary files, passwords, cookies and webpage history from the mobile browser, great for maintaining privacy.

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