App of the Week: Dolphin for Pad beta

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It wasn’t long ago that your web browser was simply what came pre-installed on your computer, but this isn’t the case in this day and age. Alternative browsers seem to be everywhere, and that includes the Android Market (iOS too!). While Honeycomb’s stock browser isn’t bad by any means, there is still plenty that could be improved. Dolphin aims to do just that with their latest entry into, and really seems to hit the right notes, beta or not. 

Anyone here ever get sick of being redirected to mobile versions of websites even though you have a tablet with a 10-inch screen? Did you get used to all of those add-ons over the years that make your browser, well, yours? Ever thought it would be nice to navigate to your favorite sites, like NBT, simply by gesture support? These are just some of the benefits of using the browser, which is free, developed by Mobotab.

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The biggest reason that Dolphin is my main browser is simply because it displays websites the way they are meant to be seen on a 10-inch screen. There’s plenty of blame to go around for this often criticized problem when using Safari or Chrome (Honeycomb). Website developers could and should be coding for these alternative browsers because nobody can stand a mobile website. Android and Apple engineers could do the same, but Dolphin just makes it simple and asks how you want websites to be displayed. Under the User Agent section in the Dolphin Settings tab (menu), simply decide whether you want websites to come up seeing you as an Android device, desktop, iPhone, iPad, or even go the custom route. The choice is yours.

Now this is a beta product by the Mobotap team, but I really don’t know why. Perhaps they are taking the Google route, but I haven’t had many issues during use. One time I had about 6 tabs open, and the web browsing came to a crawl. To be fair though, this could have easily been an Android issue as this happens in the stock browser at times too. It’s pretty darn polished though, and I’m extremely impressed.

Add-on’s are another big advantage here. Themes are already trickling out, so you don’t need to worry, you can have your internet looking like Xzibit just pimped your browser. There are plenty of useful add-ons as well, such as PDF support, speed dial, and last.fm support.

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The stock browser may work well for most, but Dolphin is winning me over. The overall polish, speed, and stability while browsing in full desktop mode is remarkable. Throw in mass customization and options for anything else you might possibly want, and there isn’t much to hate on here. This is arguably one of the best browsers available on a mobile platform, and it’s still a version 1 beta product. That my friends, is impressive.

[Android Market | App Store]

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Allen Schmidt

Allen is a former contributing editor at Nothing But Tablets, which was merged with Pocketables in 2012.

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