You might ask why you’d need a web browsing app for the iPad when the perfectly capable Safari is already built in. Dolphin Browser for iPad offers an interface that’s slightly closer to the traditional web browser you’d find on a laptop or computer, and is packed with tools enabling you to hurtle around your favourite sites. The app also offers Webzines, a minimal interface that combines feeds such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and RSS feeds, keeping you up to date with the news that matters to you.
Dolphin isn’t without its flaws, though. We found the Webzines layout a little sparse, and the app slows right down if you have more than three or four windows open. We also encountered a glitch that stopped us from entering text anywhere but in the search bar, although restarting the app fixed this.
Despite this, Dolphin Browser for iPad is a respectable competitor for Safari, allowing you to create a far more personalised platform for surfing the web.
Time required: 20 minutes
What you need
iOS 4.0 or later
Dolphin Browser for iPad (free)
Step 1: Your launchpad
Speed Dial is where you’ll find and keep all your Webzines. These are a personalised assortment of your Facebook, Twitter and other favourite blogs and sites, laid out in a stripped-back format that’s not a million miles from Flipboard.
Step 2: Feed your curiosity
To customise your Webzine, tap the Featured ribbon, and pick from categories such as News, Entertainment and Lifestyle. Tap to enter a blog, and to add it to your Webzine tap the ‘+’ icon beside the blog’s name in the top left-hand corner of the screen.
Step 3: Grab for later
Swipe to the left to reach your bookmarks; to save one of these, tap the arrow icon to the right of the search/URL bar. This area is also home to options such as Rss Subscribe, which lets you add the site’s RSS feed to your Google Reader or similar.
Step 4: In touch
Another handy option is gestural searching, which allows you to define particular motions on the screen. These can take you directly to your favourite sites or perform particular commands such as searching for a specific word or phrase within a page.
Step 5: A nice gesture
To set a gestural command, tap the hand icon and then the cog icon in the bottom left. This shows you the app’s default commands; tap Create Gesture to set your own. To delete or change your gestures simply tap Edit.
Step 6: On the download
Tap and hold any images or content you want to download; these will appear in a button at the bottom of the screen. Alternatively, you can go to your Download Manager by tapping the cog icon in the corner of the screen.