The free ApolloBrowser+IM app has received a significant update this morning in a move that continues to set it apart from Mobile Safari and other iDevice browsers. In addition to now being universal, the app includes a retooled startup screen that is second-to-none.
Created by VoyageApps.com, Apollo arrived on the scene in July to mostly positive reviews. The app’s main selling point is that it isn’t simply a browser. Rather, it is an all-in-one solution for those that like to surf and text at the same time. And, it’s so much more too.
As its full title suggests, Apollo includes Facebook Chat. This allows users to stay in touch with friends without actually leaving the browser. After signing into Facebook via the app, FB chat resides at the right bottom corner of Apollo, just like it does on a computer browser. Simply tap on it and you’ll see your contact list; another tap lets you begin chatting with someone already online. Plus, you can enjoy conversations with as many of your Facebook friends as you’d like by opening up more chat tabs and swiping back and forth.
Apollo also includes Chrome/Firefox Sync. After a one-time setup, you can leave your computer at any time, and then pick up your iDevice and open Apollo to continue browsing. The app automatically syncs bookmarks, history, and even the tabs you’ve left open on your computer. For the sync capabilities to work, you’ll need to also download and install the free Firefox Sync and Chrome Sync apps too.
Apollo’s best feature, however, is one in the just-released update – The Smart Screen. From here, you have instant access to bookmarks, downloads, GReader, Chrome/Firefox sync, and Settings. In addition, the Smart Screen includes seven “pages” of links to some of today’s most popular websites. Categories included here include:
- Mac iOS
In total, there are 70 preselected links including those for AppAdvice, The Wall Street Journal, and Twitter, among others.
Other features include:
- Download manager: Where all your downloaded files are kept and placed into categories such as Media, Pictures and Docs.
- iPad Only: Video popout and a two-pane Google reader.
According to Steven Wang, co-founder and CEO stated:
“iPad will become the main computer for a lot of us, as we are seeing the beginning of the tablet age, It’s exciting to get involved and be a part of the tablet and smartphone browser’s evolution. This is why we are here, doing this stuff:).”
We’ve been using the ApolloBrowser+IM app for awhile now and enjoy its ease of use. Today’s update makes it that much better. On the downside, it doesn’t include any sort of Read It Later functionality, but hopefully that will come later.