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  • [Review] These New iPhone "Web Browsers"
    Well these new "Web Browsers" have made their way into the AppStore. Well sort of new. They are all based on WebKit (read Safari) so they are more like the iPhone's Safari browser with a different look or a plugin for the current Safari. They are not real browsers like Opera Mini. They are all marketed on the AppStore as having some great functionality that Safari doesn't offer but do they impress? Reviews from best to worst -- or something.

    WebMate



    This browser is probably the most useful of the four and is the only one that I might consider using instead of the safari browser because of it's "tabs" feature. While browsing around with Web Mate you can set it to automatically open links in new tabs (with that on/off slider in the bottom left corner). To navigate the "tabs" you just use the left buttons or tap between the two which opens up a menu to choose between the "tabs." The trash can in the bottom right removes the current "tab" and loads the next one.

    Pros
    • Allows you to have many more sites open than eight which Safari is limited to
    • Feels quicker

    Cons
    • The address bar up top and the options bar on bottom that don't disappear
    • Some sites that render correctly in Safari don't render correctly in Web Mate
    • No bookmarks

    WebMate is $0.99 available for download via the AppStore

    Incognito



    Browsing a lot of pterodactyl porn sites? Don't want your wife/significant other finding out about your sick and dirty habits when they scour your phone looking for a gateway into your secret life? Incognito is for you. This browser is extremely light-weight with the basic options: address bar, back, forward, refresh, set homepage. The feature that sets this browser apart is that every time you close it the browsing history for your session is removed so what you were doing isn't stored on the phone for posterity. Another special feature is in the settings where you can set the browser to not automatically switch between landscape and vertical modes when the phone's orientation changes.

    Pros
    • Session history is erased on close for privacy (if you need that kind of thing)
    • very lightweight
    • Locking the browser orientation feature is cool

    Cons
    • The address bar up top and the options bar on bottom that don't disappear
    • Some sites that render correctly in Safari don't render correctly in Incognito
    • No bookmarks

    Available for download from the AppStore for $1.99

    Edge Browser



    Edge Browser is all about screen real-estate probably tied for second with Incognito. Who needs an address bar or navigation anyways? To change the address Edge Browser starts out on you have to go into the settings app and edit in the url. Something neat is you can also set up an auto-login with various parameters.

    Pros
    • Full screen web browsing which the three other new "browsers" don't do
    • Quick
    • Free

    Cons
    • Some sites that render correctly in Safari don't render correctly in Incognito
    • If you like forward back and refresh or an address bar this will not work for you at all

    Free download via the AppStore

    Shaking Web



    This little browser is super high-techness from 2012 allowing the website you are viewing to shake with you as you browse in the car of on a train (where I tried it out this morning). How does it do it? By measuring accelerometer movements and then moving the image on the screen to match! It can even do this both vertically and horizontally!

    Pro/Cons

    Why bother. The idea is nice but in the real world all this app is good for is convincing people your iPhone is complete trash -- or making wasted people finally vomit. The shaking makes everything next to illegible. The browser also likes giving you a nice pop-up notifying you that "Error Requested page cannot be loaded" 9 out of 10 times and then proceeds to load the page just fine when you click okay. Annoying. I hate to be harsh but the funny thing is Shaking Web is tied for most expensive with a $1.99 download which adds insult to injury as you attempt to use it.

    Result

    These are not real browsers. The are Safari plug-ins basically. Do not expect any kind of major difference in performance (although they consistently don't load some sites properly while Safari does). They have little features / gimmicks that do make them ever so slightly different from Safari which can be pretty good and useful like WebMate's "tabs" or completely annoying like Shacking Web.

    For now there is no real reason to grab one of these unless you have some irrational hate for Safari on the iPhone or one of their unique features calls out to you. Maybe in the new future as these "browsers" are perfected with more features and enhanced functionality they will stand apart for Safari but they aren't there yet.

    thx billchase2 for the tip
    This article was originally published in forum thread: [Review] These New iPhone "Web Browsers" started by Cody Overcash View original post