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.
- 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
- 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.
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