The Best Web Browser For iPhone

While Mobile Safari does most of what you'd need from a smartphone web browser, and there are many alternatives that fill in the gaps, Atomic Web Browser is our top choice thanks to its amazing and endless feature set, focus on privacy settings, and customisable experience.

Atomic Web Browser

Platform: iPhone Price: $0.99 Download Page

  • Tabbed browsing
  • Ad block
  • Search suggestions
  • Form and HTTP authentication autofill
  • Private browsing and the ability to wipe private data
  • Option to disable autocorrect in the search bar
  • Dropbox support
  • Can download files and extract zip archives
  • Automatic phone number detection
  • Full screen mode (kiosk mode)
  • Air Print support in iOS 4.2 or higher
  • Save web pages
  • TV out
  • Google mobilizer web compression
  • Configurable gestures
  • Search within a web page
  • Share links on Facebook, Twitter and via email
  • Press and hold to open links in the background or in new tabs
  • Themes
  • Rotation lock
  • Ability to adjust the font size
  • Ability to identify the browser as any other kind of browser

Atomic has just about every feature you could possibly want in a mobile web browser, or a desktop web browser for that matter. If Mobile Safari has left you wanting a desktop experience that actually functions on a phone, this is how to get it. You can clear history, cookies, and all sorts of other crap you don't want lying around on your mobile. In fact, Atomic will do it for you on quit so you don't even have to remember. You get proper tabbed browsing, which can be extended into kiosk mode (full screen) to make more room for the web page. Atomic even has advanced features like a download manager that can decompress zip archives, an ad blocker, and the ability to save web pages locally. It's easy to use, endlessly customisable, stable, and only costs $0.99. It's really a fantastic browser with a great balance of all the things you'd really need.

There's little to complain about here. In theory it could be more Apple-like with flowing, animated UI that's exceptionally beautiful, but there's nothing actually wrong with the interface. If you want an unbalanced browser that focuses more on a specific type of feature, such as a download manager, you might want to look at another option. That said, you really have to create problems with Atomic. New features are being added all the time, so if something you care about it's likely to show up pretty quickly (and you can contact the developer to suggest something). There really isn't anything worth complaining about.

Perfect Web Browser is a common alternative to Atomic, offering many of the same features and a fairly similar interface. It attempts to provide a desktop experience on your iPhone, but it definitely achieves that better on the iPad thanks to the extra screen real estate. It costs the same as Atomic (unless you want the iPad version, too, in which case Perfect will cost you an extra $4.50) and there's very little different, but we've used both for some time and just prefer Atomic. You may disagree, and at $0.99 each there's little risk in trying them both out.

360 Browser has an interesting user interface with lots of navigation shortcuts and adds support for Flash. Yes, Flash — that thing Apple basically banned from your iDevice. It also has support for Firefox sync so you can easily grab all your bookmarks, tabs, and passwords. Like the others, it'll only cost you $0.99.

Previously mentioned Meteoric Download Manager is technically not advertised as a web browser, but it works as one just the same. You won't get a desktop-like browsing experience, but if your focus is downloading and managing files it is an excellent option.

Lifehacker's App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories.


Comments

    Adam:

    I think your choice of Atomic Browser is a good one but I would give the edge to iCab Mobile. The Quickstarter feature is useful as are the more than 30 "modules" (similar to widgets). I also like the portable archives feature and source code options worthwhile.

    Again, it's a close call. iCab also offers a Mac version.

    Lately, after getting used to the dial navigation I'm liking Portal more and more. Less features but pages look nice.

    Finally, looking forward to trying Meteoric. Lately, I've been using Perfect Downloader. At this point, happy with the purchase.

    The main reason I've stuck with safari is for security.

    Is this a silly reason or a valid one?

      On an iPhone, it's not that huge a concern. Atomic would be using the same underlying framework to render sites anyway, but it gives a bunch of nice features on top. Given it identifies itself as MobileSafari to sites, you'd be hard pressed to find an attack vector that wouldn't affect Safari too.

    Tabbed browsing is the only thing that interests me and that will be rectified in iOS5 next month.

    Option to disable autocorrect in the search bar

    SOLD! I am pretty tired of having iOS autocorrect an unconventional term in the search bar. Because Google does a better job of figuring out what I want regardless of how hurriedly I type it.

    Is there any way of making a downloaded browser the default browser for when you click on a link within an email or from any other program?
    I got the Atomic browser last week but, call me slack, haven't used it as I usually click on links from emails which opens Safari so I've just used that.

    Another great Atomic feature is Dropbox integration - so if you download a file, you can copy it directly to your Dropbox for later use elsewhere.

    Sounds similar to Mercury browser, which I've been using for a while now. Mercury has some quirks so I may try this out.

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