Browser+ for iPhone. The internet rethought, reinvented, and handcrafted. ($0.99) by Spreadsong, Inc. is an app that utilizes the full screen of your iPhone or iPad for quick, clean, and simple web browsing.
Upon launch of Browser+, you’ll be greeted with a welcome landing page for Browser+. This page has a quick video tutorial that shows you how to use the app. There are also some quicktips that are above the video.
The magic of this browser is that it is light and quick. You may be wondering, since it uses the full screen, how do you do anything? The trick lies with finger swiping.
You will notice a little translucent black bar at the bottom. This displays the title of the page you are currently on and the address. If you tap on it or swipe up, you get access to the address bar and Google search. On the iPhone, because of limited space, you can toggle between the address bar and search by the globe and magnifying glass icons. Typing in either will bring up results as you type, which is always nice to have.
If you swipe to the left or right, you can access the toolbar with refresh, back, and forward buttons. Additionally, if you pull the screen a bit more, you can get access to a Safari-like interface that displays your most visited pages and even has some Popular Sites for you to visit. Each is displayed with a thumbnail of the page and the name below it. Underneath the thumbnails are even smaller ones that represent your recently viewed pages that you can scroll sideways though.
While browsing, there is a cool overlay feature that you can access when you tap and hold on a link on any page. This feature allows you to view that page in a popup overlay that won’t interfere with the main page you were looking at. This is great for just taking a quick peek at something but those times you don’t want to deal with going back and reloading pages. It’s a neat feature that makes things easier as you surf on your iDevice.
While the browser is fast and light and gives a nice fullscreen view, there are a couple things that are holding it back from being a full replacement of mobile Safari. You can’t customize your homepage, add bookmarks, or even manage downloads. It has a good start, but currently is not enough to replace Safari on my device or other more full featured browsers. For what it’s worth right now, I don’t see a reason why this couldn’t just be a universal app – it is currently a separate version for both the iPhone and iPad, and they both do and lack the same things. I hope that the developer can address these issues in future updates.
For now, while it has a nice interface, it lacks many important features. In the current state, this is one that can be skipped over for now. Wait for the addition of basic features like those I mentioned earlier.