Wednesday, February 15, 2012


When it comes to browsing on the iPad, Safari isn’t the only game in town. Most (if not all) of the browsers in the iTunes Store are based on the same WebKit engine as Safari, which means they should render Web pages exactly the same way. However, features outside the Web page itself, such as tabs, bookmarks, download management, searching, and so on can be much different—and developers have created some interesting variations that may serve your needs better. Dozens of alternative browsers exist (go to the iTunes Store and search for “browser”), and of course not all are created equal. Of those I’ve tried, four in particular stand out as serious competitors to Safari. All four of these offer proper desktop-style tabbed browsing, including the crucial capability to open links in background tabs. Beyond that, however, their features vary tremendously.

Atomic Web Browser
The universal app Atomic Web Browser (Rich Tech, $0.99,), lets you save pages for offline viewing and features a private browsing mode, in which browsing history, cookies, and other data isn’t saved; an optional full-screen view; editable ad filters; form auto-fill; VGA output; multi-touch and shake gestures; and numerous other options.

iCab Mobile
Alexander Clauss’s iCab has been around on the Mac for eons, and now it’s available as a $1.99 universal iCab Mobile app (Figure 13). iCab Mobile is a mature, full-featured browser with a feature list that’s remarkably similar to that of Atomic Web Browser, but with an even richer set of customization options and a more polished, Safari-like look and feel. iCab can download Web pages and even PDFs for offline viewing. Like Atomic Web Browser, it offers a private browsing mode, a full-screen view, configurable filters, and form auto-fill. It also connects to your Dropbox for uploading and downloading files and bookmarks, and it supports VGA output with the option of showing the entire screen or just the page contents on an external display. In fact, it’s hard to think of a feature it doesn’t offer—and as a result, I find myself using iCab more often than any other third-party browser.

Perfect Web Browser
Unlike the other browsers in this list, which favor a monochrome interface, Perfect Web Browser has nice, colorful icons on its toolbar and tab bar. It offers full-screen browsing, a private mode, and the option to render pages as a desktop browser would (for times when you want to avoid the mobile version of a Web site). It also lets you save pages for offline viewing and supports VGA output. It doesn’t have quite the feature set that iCab Mobile does, but it’s a solid, highly rated browser. (Ingenious Creations, $2.99)

If you don’t want or need lots of bells and whistles but are simply looking for something that’s very much like Safari but with tabbed browsing, archiving, and full-screen support, you might like Terra (Readdle, free). It has a simple, uncluttered interface and a remarkably sparse Settings view, but it still manages to offer a private browsing mode, passcode protection, and the capability to masquerade as another browser.

Multi-pane Browsers
A large number of browser apps try to solve the problem of the iPad having no windows by putting two independent browser panes on the screen at once, letting you view two different Web sites side-by-side, or above and below, as the case may be. A random sampling of such apps:
• Browser Duo (McLean Mobile Solutions, $1.99)

• Multitasking Browser (innovPixels, $2.99)

• Split Pea (Martin Gordon, $3.99)

• Split Screen (Fifth Column Code, $0.99)

I should also mention a related and growing app category: those that combine a Web browser with something else, so that you can do two or more related activities at once. For example:

• IM+ Pro: This all-purpose instant messaging client (see Use Instant Messaging) also has a built-in browser, so you can chat and surf at the same time. (SHAPE Services, $9.99)

• Multitasking for iPad: This app puts a Web browser, Twitter client, and Facebook client on the screen at the same time. (, $0.99)

Source of Information : TidBITS-Take Control of Working with Your iPad 2011 
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