If it were possible, I would make Atomic Web ($0.99) the default web browser for my iPhone and iPad Mini. Atomic Web has already replaced the iOS version of Safari on my homepage, but it would be great if web links from other apps would open directly into Atomic Web.
Atomic Web may not have the clock speed download of Safari, but it has so many useful features for iPad and iPhone power users. You could literally spend 15 minutes exploring the various Settings options in Atomic Web to tailor it to your needs and liking. From setting the color theme and an optional passcode, to archiving webpages, Atomic Web is definitely a fully featured iOS web browser.
Like most advanced web browsers, Atomic Web contains all of the features found in iOS Safari, including Tabs, History, Bookmarking, and of course Search.
The only main feature missing from Atomic Web is iCloud synchronization, which allows you to synchronize all of your bookmarks and open tabs between your Apple devices. This is the only feature that keeps me from totally abandoning iOS Safari.
But it is the advanced features of Atomic Web that will have iOS power users salivating. First off, unlike Safari you don’t have to tap a button in order to see all your open tabs (see the above screenshot.) Even on your iPhone in which only two or three tabs are visible at a time, you can simply slide your finger across them to access other opened tabs.
So Atomic Web has the basics covered, but it is the advanced features located in Atomic Web’s menubar where you’ll find other goodies. There are two small navigation buttons (whose functions can be changed), a button for hiding tabs altogether; another button for sharing and saving webpages, and another menu item which pops up options for increasing font size, locking screen rotation, and enabling Private Mode.
Oh, and one more thing, there is a Full Screen button that hides the menu bar, address and search bar, and all the open tabs. This is especially useful for the smaller screen iPhone.
Now you could use Atomic Web for several weeks like myself and not notice that it also has a special sidebar feature for Google-related apps and services, including G+, Google Drive, Calendar, and Gmail.
At some point you’ll want to spend some time, after learning what Atomic Web has to offer, in the Settings part of the app. This is where you can change settings for several dozen features, including privacy options, default search engine, multitouch and gestures, tab options, and various other controls including Auto Fill, the Progress Bar, and web compression.
More than likely if you become a heavy user of Atomic Web, you will return to Settings several times to set up the user interface and actions based on how you typically use the app. For example, you can change what is in the list of Action Menu items that pop up when you tap the Share button in the menu bar.
There are over 35 actions that you can choose from to include in the pop-up menu, though you probably want to only have about eight of them visible. These actions include Enable Private Mode, Lock Rotation, Increase/Decrease Font, Print, and Save to Instapaper.
The Increase Font Size menu action was immediately most useful to me, because that function is not present iOS Safari. And even better after you increase the font size, you can save the font setting for the particular website you’re in. This is very useful because changing the font size can have a different effect in different websites.
You can of course also bookmark webpages, but again unlike with Safari, you can also archive them in AtomicWeb. This web browser also allows you to download and save images and documents. And for you privacy geeks out there, you can add a passcode to Atomic Web to keep others from accessing the app altogether.
For reviews of the iOS web browsers, check out these:
- First Impressions of Opera Mini Web Browser for the iPhone
- Dolphin: A Smart, Hand Gesturing Mobile Web Browser [iOS + Android]
- Top 8 Great Alternatives To Mobile Safari [iPhone / iPod]
If you find iOS Safari limiting, it is well worth downloading and trying out Atomic Web. If you already use this app let us know what you think of it.