360 Web Browser | Download Manager and Firefox Sync ($0.99) by Digital Poke is a web browser app that is feature rich and provides many more options than you can ever find in Mobile Safari.
The first thing you’ll notice when launching 360 Browser is that it’s a much more featured browser than what Apple provides in the default Safari browser on your iPhone or iPod Touch. The main thing with 360 Browser is the unique 360 Arc, which is that circular menu that you can bring up at a touch. The app also features tabs, much like what you have come to expect from desktop browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome. The top will contain the address bar and a search bar, both of which will start getting results as you type.
The bottom of the screen will feature a menu bar with the traditional buttons of going back or forward a page, refreshing, bookmarks, and more Settings for the app. If you prefer a fullscreen experience, 360 Browser has the option in the Arc. When in fullscreen mode, there will be two buttons for bringing up the Arc: one with the normal Arc options and another with browsing options like Back, Forward, tab navigation, and bookmarks/add-ons. The fullscreen mode is great and completely melds away, giving you that fill experience.
Additionally, 360 Browser features the capability to install add-ons that can help make the experience even better. Some examples of add-ons you can install are Instapaper, Evernote Clipper, Facebook and Digg Share, View Source Code, and more. If you change your mind about an add-on later on, you can easily delete it by managing your add-ons from the Settings menu (represented by a gear).
Those that are Firefox fans will love this: 360 Browser also supports Firefox Sync, which will synchronize your bookmarks, logins, passwords, history, and anything else between your desktop and 360 Browser. This takes a bit of setting up, however, it’s not too bad. The latest update (2.0.2) brings support for the latest version, so screening is up to date.
Downloads are easily handled with the app as well, since there is even a download manager right within the app. You can download any file and also share these files with your desktop as long as you are on the same wireless network. Any downloads you have will be shown with a progress bar, and have the options to pause or cancel a download or even re-download old files. You can change the amount of simultaneous downloads from the Settings.
I’ve mentioned Settings a lot so far, but that’s because there is a lot that is covered in the Settings. The homepage can be changed, you can choose a desktop browser for the app to mimic (very nice!), start in fullscreen, choose default search engine, clear history, cache, and cookies, keep passwords, privacy settings, and many more options. The amount of various settings in the app definitely makes the app feel like a fully featured desktop browser, right on your iDevice.
Another change in the 2.0.2 update is the addition of 7 multi-touch gestures that allow for easy access to plenty of features. The seven gestures involve two finger swipes up, down, left, and right; two and three finger taps; and a shake gesture. The features that you can assign to these various gestures are: Plugins, Full Screen, Rotation Toggle, Next and Previous Tab, Forward and Back, Hide/Show Arc, Firefox Sync, Download Manager, Bookmarks, History, Settings, Add Plugins, and Themes. If you prefer to not use a gesture, you can turn it off as well. These can be found in the Settings.
The final touch is customization. You know how Firefox and Chrome allow you to apply various skins and themes to your browser to make it fully your own unique experience? 360 Browser also has several themes that you can choose from. They give you two skins for free: Blue Edge and Jaded (lime green). There are four other themes available as in-app purchase: Bling ($1.99), Carbon ($1.99), Blush ($0.99), and Historic Opus ($0.99, orange color). There are also three colors for tabs: Blue Edge, Jaded, and Slate (dark gray). Whatever you choose, the browser will become as unique as you are.
There are some more enhancements with the latest 2.0.2 update. These changes include: automatic downloads with visible speed and remaining times, zip files can be extracted with the File Manager, iTunes and Email Sharing is now enabled, foreign language support in search, and several other new changes. Of course, like most updates, there are major performance upgrades that have improved the app overall.
I did experience a few crashes when coming back to the app from the multitasking tray, but it’s not a big deal as you can just go back to pages from the History. Unless you have downloads running – if the app crashes, you will have to start all over. I hope to also see more themes available in future updates for even more customization.
But for $1, this app is a bargain and anyone looking for a fully-featured browser for their iDevice should consider picking this up. There are constant updates and the developers seem good at responding to their customer feature requests. But keep in mind that until Apple allows it, 360 Browser cannot be the default browser to open all links on your device (email, SMS, etc). Still worth the download though.