If you own an Android phone or tablet, you’ve most likely realized that the default browser is nothing short of pathetic. After struggling with the browser for a few months, I decided I’d had enough. Inability to open new windows from within the browser window, view windows side-by-side, or set home page options just made life difficult and that’s not what you expect when you spend good money on a quality product. Nevertheless, it gave me the opportunity to look for other options and one that caught my attention was Dolphin Browser HD available for free on the Android market. This post is my view of some of the features I loved on the Dolphin Browser HD 6.0.
Top Features of Dolphin Browser HD 6.0
1. Tabbed Browsing Functionality
Having been accustomed to tabbed browsing on desktop browsers, it’s quite awful to have to settle for something less on a new technology device. Dolphin Browser HD simplifies adding new windows as tabs. Just hit the + button at the top-right to open multiple windows side by side.
2. Speedy Browsing
Well, tabbed functionality would definitely be a failure if the sites weren’t fast enough. And Dolphin Browser HD doesn’t fail. I had about 6 open pages on my Samsung Galaxy tab, and had no trouble switching and browsing through the various tabs; quickly.
3. Magazine-style Layout with Thumbnails for Web Pages
Webzine, a tab within the Dolphin Browser HD, lets you add your favorite sites as thumbnail images using the webpage’s RSS feed. Just click Add a column, select a category, (Entertainment, Business, and more) or search for a popular website you love reading and it appears as thumbnail images on the Webzine page. You can then click the thumbnail to read stories from the particular site.
4. Built for Better Readability
Personally, I hate scrolling up and down a page to read more information. The Webzine mode allows me to read my favorite articles by swiping from right to left as well. I can use the swipe method to read both snippets as well as entire articles. There are also links to the original article if you want to check out the original post. Easy navigation between stories is accomplished well, with buttons to go back, jump to the top of an article, refresh a page and more. You can even gain more space by hiding the tabs at the top of the screen. Just click a button and you can share articles you like through email or other apps. All in all, the focus here is clearly on getting the best reading experience, and that’s what a user wants and expects.
4. Awesome Add-ons
Browser add-ons are no doubt popular and Dolphin Browser HD has tons of helpful add-ons including LastPass, Read Late, Translate, Web to PDF, and more.
5. Facebook and Twitter Integration
Facebook and Twitter Webzines are integrated in the browser and does a pretty decent job. Although they are yet to match up to the native apps, I guess they’re not too bad if you attempt to do the social thing on a browser.
6. Pretty Solid Bookmarking Feature
The Bookmarking feature is quite remarkable. You can access your search history, most visited and bookmarked sites at the tap of a button. You can even import bookmarks from your default browser, or from the original Dolphin browser. Yet another handy feature is the ability to create bookmark subfolders. To create a new bookmarks subfolder:
1. Press the Menu key on the device, tap Bookmarks.
2. Tap Quick Access.
3. Press the Menu button and tap New Folder.
This feature is pretty solid and you get the feeling of working on a native web browser.
7. Speed Dial Goodness
The Speed Dial view gives you the most visited pages and reopens the last closed tab providing you with a more user-friendly browsing experience.
8. Gestures to Launch Webpages
I’ve reserved the best of Dolphin Browser HD’s feature for last; the ability to launch webpages by gestures. Lets say you frequently access theapptimes.com. can create a gesture to open a website of your choice. Simply open the website on the browser, click the favicon in the address bar, and tap Create gesture for this page. On the Recommended stokes screen draw a gesture, for instance you can draw an A ( for theapptimes) and click Done. The next time you want to open theapptimes.com all you need to do is draw the gesture you created earlier.There’s also the standard set of gestures that come by default that lets you go back, forward, top and bottom of a page, and more.
Here’s a video preview for your viewing pleasure.
While I thoroughly enjoy using gestures, I don’t like the fact that webzine feeds don’t work in both in landscape and portrait view. Also, there have been reports of crashes, which I have experienced but once.
Overall, the browser is good, in fact, better than my stock browser and Dolphin Browser HD will certainly be my choice until I find a better one. If you haven’t tried Dolphin Browser HD, you can download it from the Android Market, or use this QR code. And don’t forget to write us your favorite feature.