Dolphin Browser by MoboTap Inc. icon

Dolphin Browser (Free) by MoboTap Inc. is a web browsing app for your iPhone/iPod touch. Made popular by the Android operating system, this interesting app is now available for iOS.

Dolphin Browser by MoboTap Inc. screenshot

One of the things that makes Dolphin Browser stand out from other mobile Web browsers is the touch gesture feature. If you swipe your finger in a particular pattern, you will be directing the browser to perform a particular function. For example, if you draw a “V” in the gesture box, you will be redirected to the bottom of the web page that you are currently on. There are nine preset gestures and you can add your own. You can access the touch gesture box by selecting the finger icon at the bottom of the screen. This feature seems like it should have been included in the iPhone’s native Safari browser since it works perfectly with the touch screen concept developed by Apple.

You can also view Web pages as thumbnails from the app’s Webzine feature. You can choose from 10 different categories, including finance and entertainment, and view articles from the listed websites as thumbnails for easier browsing on a small screen. For example, if you want to see the latest news from NPR, you can add the website to your Webzine column and when you visit it, you will see articles listed in a way that is similar to an RSS reader. You will see the title, a thumbnail image, if included, and the first few sentences of the story.

You can open new tabs while browsing, just like a desktop browser. Instead of hiding multiple websites under an icon, you can easily view which sites you have open from the tabs at the top. You can also access your favorite websites with Speed Dial, bookmark websites, and view Web pages in desktop mode if you don’t want to automatically be redirected to a mobile configured version of a site, like Wikipedia.

Overall, this free app is an intuitive and touch screen friendly way to browse the Internet with a mobile device, It runs smoothly, loads quickly and doesn’t seem to have any glitches. The Webzine feature is a great way to view the more popular websites, allowing you to see thumbnail lists of articles. This is a potential replacement app for Safari, and if you have already replaced Safari, it is great competition for some of the others as well.