It is easy to see why there are several dozen web browsers for the iPad—because browsing the net on this device feels like you’re browsing a magazine or newspaper. Unlike its smaller brother and sister, the iPhone and the iPod touch, the iPad‘s larger screen, along with the lightness of the device itself, make it perfect for reading content and consuming media on the net.
We covered a few free web browers back in January, but since then other savvy developers have created several additional browsers you might you want to include in the browser folder of your iPad. Let’s check them out. (Note: each link will take you to the iTunes App Store.)
One of the most unique web browsers in this current review collection is Weblicious. This browser will appeal to users who like to take advantage of the iPad‘s visual orientation. Instead of bookmarking web pages in the typical title list view, Weblicious allows you to bookmark websites as smaller windows—sort of like the preview display feature in Safari 5, but with more customizations.
When you click the tab of a saved site, it of course opens up in a full screen. Weblicious includes over a dozen backgrounds, one or more that will surely appeal to any user.
If you find the tab feature in the iPad version of Safari a little annoying (where you must leave your current page in order to switch to another tab on a separate screen), Fraktol‘s preview display of up to 9 pages at the top of browser will be a welcome change.
You can scroll through previews or access them from the traditional bookmark drop-down window. There’s also a little button that hides your open tabs. Fraktol also remembers your open tabs after you close and re-open the browser.
Dual web browser apps have been around for a while, but if you don’t want to pay out a few dollars for one, you can download Two Web for free. The only drawback is that this browser doesn’t remember the last pages you were on after you close the app. But it does allow you to simply browse web pages side-by-side.
I never launch StumbleUpon unless I‘m prepared to spend an hour or more browsing the web. If you’ve never heard of or use StumbleUpon, it’s essentially a service that delivers random websites and pages based on your personal topical preferences and recommendations of other stumblers. It’s a great way to discover new and interesting content without using Google or some other search engine.
You can mark as favorite any page you stumble upon and come back to it for later viewing. To me, StumbleUpon makes web browsing fun, and it’s especially appealing on the iPad.
If you‘re finding iPad Safari too lightweight for your web browsing needs, 360 Web Browser contains some rich advance features you’ll want to test out in this lite version of 360 Web.
This web browser for the iPad contains Firefox Sync which allows you to sync your tabs, bookmarks, and history from Firefox between your iPad and other mobile devices. This browser includes multi-touch gestures for navigation pages, full screen viewing, pre-loaded plug-ins for services like Evernote and Track This, and pop-up round menu bar for switching between more than its 20+ features.
While many features of 360 Web are not enabled in the Lite version, I recommend downloading and taking it for a spin to see if it or the full version will be useful to you.
There are other free web browsers (Tabulous, TwitpadOne, for example) I would have liked to add this to the list, but in my test runs they didn’t perform well, though their concepts are good.
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