Up until now I’ve despised Safari for iOS. I’m not sure why, but the most likely reason is that it lacks a certain feature I think should have been included: fullscreen browsing. Sure, there are others who would long for tabs or plugins and that’s fine – iCabMobile does all of that and more!
I came across this little gem whilst having another one of my hopeless App Store quests, which turned out not so bad after finding this. The app, created by Alexander Clauss, is an alternative to Apple’s own Safari browser and aims to give users a whole load of features to play around with. I’m not going to list all the features, since that would be pretty time consuming given the amount, but I will list the ones I think are crucial to any web browser. If you do want to see a full list of features though you can view all of the right here.
First up is … you guessed it, fullscreen browsing. When in the app, you can simply tap on the button that resembles an expanded window and fullscreen mode is activated. With this, all the toolbars are removed and you are left with four options at the bottom which include bookmarks, tabs, search and exiting fullscreen mode as well as the option to go back and forth between pages at the top and a URL button, which brings up the address bar for you to surf away. All these are clearly visible and blend in nicely with the web page, enabling you to see as much of the web as possible without any distractions. However, if you don’t feel this way you can always change the opacity in settings. Next is tabs, which is straightforward, allowing you to open multiple web pages at once and with ease. I’m not a big fan of this, but I can understand that many prefer this.
iCabMobile can also store and sync bookmarks with your Dropbox account after you enter your Dropbox credentials in its settings page. This is great, if you have a large collection of bookmarks and are afraid of losing them. I believe that this can also sync with iCab for Mac, although I haven’t tried this personally.
Other than this, you can fill out forms pretty easily and it can download pretty much any file and open them. Another thing that I find is pretty cool is that it blocks annoying ads with its filter system which includes default ones, whilst allowing you to create more. iCabMobile also includes what it calls modules, which basically add functionality to your web browsing experience. Examples include Readability, which renders the text on the page making it clearer to read and Instapaper, which stores the web page to your Instapaper account ready for you to read later.
So, there you have it! – Of course, there are other features such as offline mode and the ability to set the content for a new tab, but at its core, iCabMobile aims to offer an array of features for you to pick and choose. This can range from the average user to the most power hungry web professionals and I think that’s what makes it stand out. However, if you ask me, I’m going to have to pass on it since I consider myself content with Safari and its minimalistic approach. In short, if you fancy a different approach to browsing the web or are just plain bored with Safari on iOS, then go ahead and download iCabMobile.
Did I mention it’s only £1.19 and has complete universal support?