Friday, January 14, 2011

Dolphin HD browser for Android - Review


This will certainly warrant a longer look, but for now suffice it to say that I’ve been greatly enjoying the Dolphin HD browser for the past month or so. A browser is one of those apps that takes a while to fully appreciate. I’d loved to have typed up a full walk-through and review for today, but the browser is such an integral part of the smartphone experience that I don’t want to sell it short. Even if you’re happy enough with the default browser, I think you’ll enjoy Dolphin a bit more.

Here’s a quick rundown of the features that I’m enjoying the most. First, tabbed browsing is excellent. Unfortunately, while Chrome to Phone works just fine with Dolphin, it does not open links in multiple tabs. But when you do read with the browser you can do it with ease. I immediately installed the Dolphin Reader extension, which is essential. It helps reformat text when you pinch to zoom, so it fits on the screen. The normal browser does this only on a double tap. The plug-ins are also a great feature. There are dozens and dozens of them already available.

I’m also really digging the gesture actions. See that tab in the bottom left corner? Tap that, and then you can make a gesture that will perform an action. Write an N, for example, and it will open up a new tab. This makes the whole browsing process just a little smoother. Now I can navigate among all my favorite sites without accessing a menu. I can just swipe to my bookmarks, hit the right one, gesture for a new tab, and read something else.If this seems a bit disorganized, well, it is. Web browsing is an experience unique to each user, so it’s hard to pinpoint the exact things that people will like about the Dolphin HD browser. I’ve recommended it to many friends, and they’ve ignored it because they’re fine with the default browser. That’s why I want to make the walk through/review that much better.



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