Grazing Web Browser ($0.99) by Thinkbitz Software Studio is a simple little browser that makes use of the multitouch gestures on the iPhone and iPad.
There are a lot of web browsers for your iDevice out there, but Grazing wants to be the one. So how does it do?
You’ll first be greeted with a very simple interface. It will look not much different than mobile Safari currently does. However, what sets Grazing apart from Safari and the others is the intuitive use of multitouch gestures to help you navigate.
On the iPhone, you can push on the address bar to enter full screen mode. Exiting full screen is as easy as pulling the screen down to bring back your address bar and bottom toolbar.
Pulling the bottom of the screen up will reveal the “tab strip,” which will show you all of your open tabs as thumbnails. Tapping on one will take you to that page. A + button in the strip will open a new tab. Pulling the screen down will hide the tab strip again.
On the iPad, the tab strip is at the top of the screen rather than the bottom. Entering full screen mode is essentially the same as on the iPhone.
With both versions, switching between multiple tabs doesn’t require toggling the tab strip. In fact, it is even simpler than that — just swipe the screen left and right to pan between your opened tabs.
Another way to go through tabs is to hit the tabs button on the iPhone (two cascading screens) and the iPad (labeled tabs). On the iPhone, you get a view that is similar to the Safari cards, while on the iPad, you get a list view or you can view them in tiles.
Grazing has a feature called the Slidepad in both the iPhone and iPad versions. This can be brought up on the screen by sliding your thumb up on the iPhone from the bottom of the screen, or left or right while in landscape mode. On the iPad, it’s accessed by sliding your thumb in from the left or right.
I had trouble getting this to work, but fortunately, there is another method to bring this on to the screen. By tapping with three fingers, you get the Thumbpad, which is a clear overlay on your screen that you tap for the full navigation features of the Slidepad.
While you browse, a press-and-hold on a link will bring up the Context Menu with several options on how to open the link. Or you can keep holding it to automatically open it in a background tab.
In addition to using the standard toolbar, Slidepad, or Thumbpad to do you page navigating, there is another method using gestures. Some of the gestures include drawing an “L” from the top left to bottom right of the screen to close a tab, and a flipped “L” from bottom to top to navigate back and forth in history.
There are more than just these gestures, but the app provides a basic guide for helping you figure them out, along with other features.
Bookmarks are supported, like all other browsers. There is also a powerful search function. When entering in your search, you can choose from a wide variety of sites to search on, and also open the results in a new tab or your current one.
In Grazing, there is also another convenient feature: Graze Push. This is a service that allows you to send web pages from your desktop browser to your iPhone, iPad, or even save a link for later in an exclusive Grazing reading list.
This is useful if you have to share links with people in the household or just for yourself when you’re on-the-go. I’m not sure about using the reading list feature though — that’s why I have Instapaper.
Settings is accessed from the Slidepad or Thumbpad, and consist of many options for your browsing experience. It includes options for Basics (cookies, ad blocking, etc), Bookmarks, Slidepad and Thumbpad, Search, Grazing Push, and Advanced. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a download manager in Grazing, but the app can be disguised as a desktop browser like Firefox or Chrome (found in Advanced).
While Grazing is simple yet powerful and has some convenient features, there are a few things that bug me. While browsing, I noticed that the app will sometimes appear laggy or choppy (when I go in and out of full screen mode, for example). I would like to see the developer address some of these performance issues in updates.
Currently, Grazing is only a dollar to celebrate the 2.0 launch, and is a universal app. For this low price, I would recommend it. However, if the price goes up and the performance issues aren’t addressed, then I would suggest holding off until they are.