Users will flip for Dolphin Browser’s gestures, webzine

Sep 6, 2011
Tech

App Dolphin Browser originated on the iPhone competitor, and Droid users flipped for the app. After checking out the iPhone and iPod Touch version I can see why. Developed by Mobotap, Dolphin Browser runs on top of Apple’s Safari renderer — that means it’s not an entirely new browser, but Dolphin Browser offers a few […]

App Dolphin Browser originated on the iPhone competitor, and Droid users flipped for the app. After checking out the iPhone and iPod Touch version I can see why. Developed by Mobotap, Dolphin Browser runs on top of Apple’s Safari renderer — that means it’s not an entirely new browser, but Dolphin Browser offers a few cool additions of its own.

What I’d consider Dolphin’s signature feature is its gesture-driven navigation. When you’re using the app, you can tap the hand icon at the bottom of the screen. This will bring up a drawing pane that lets you draw a fluid symbol of the action you’d like to perform. Dolphin comes with programmed gestures, such as drawing arrows to move forward and back between pages or drawing an “N” to open a new tab. I still think it’s a bit silly to use this feature for moving between pages (why open the gesture panel and draw a symbol when you could just hit the back button?), but I like that you can create customized gestures to go directly to specific sites.

A speed-dial homepage lets you create hot buttons for quick access to favorite sites. Dolphin Browser also features a Flipboard-style section called Webzine. This section is ideal for keeping up with social networks and adding favorite news sources for easy reading. Since there’s no Flipboard app for iPhone, I’m really liking this option.

Dolphin Browser has its share of problems. The full-screen option isn’t really full screen, and all navigation options disappear so you have to exit the view to leave the site. The side panels that hold bookmarks and settings are extremely sensitive, so users with fumbling hands might become annoyed. There’s no support for importing bookmarks, so switching to Dolphin will take some effort, and you can’t edit bookmarks, only delete.

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Dolphin is far from a perfect app, but its features are worth taking note of, especially for users looking for a bit more than Safari offers.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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