19
Jun
Dolphin-Thumb

Before Google and Mozilla got around to releasing mobile versions of their browsers for Android, Dolphin was king. Even despite the competition, the browser has surpassed 80 million users since its 2010 debut to maintain its position as the most popular third-party mobile browser. It has now made the jump to version 10, and this substantial upgrade brings with it a whole host of new features.

Dolphin-Banner

What's in this version:

  • New UI design
  • Web App Store: Easily add popular web apps to your home screen
  • Home screen now supports drag & drop grouping of speed dials into folders, with 60+ speed dial slots
  • Dolphin key: single swipe access to browser menu, tab list or Gesture/Sonar
  • Search directly within Amazon, Twitter, Wikipedia, eBay, Youtube, Twitter or Facebook from URL bar
  • Flash support can be re-enabled in settings
  • Themes & Night Mode have been updated for v10. Install the updated versions from Google Play

Revamped UI

Dolphin is still as recognizable as ever for anyone who has used the browser in the past, but it's interface has been cleaned up to be more touch and gesture friendly. And since flat is all the rage these days, UI elements have been flattened on largely every screen. Pressing the menu button not only displays a list of options, it triggers a mini-navigation bar at the bottom to assist with moving around on devices with larger screens.

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And that dolphin button hovering around at the bottom of the screen? It provides single swipe access to the browser menu, the tab list, and gestures. Just tap it and swipe in the direction of the options that appear.

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New Web App Store

The new web app store makes it quick and painless to add popular websites to Dolphin's home screen. Tapping the New button launches the store, which is different from the app store that's pinned as "Hot Apps" by default. Think of the latter as Google Play and the former as the Chrome Web Store. The web app store contains over 200 HTML5 apps that further reduce the need for bookmarks. These shortcuts can then be dragged and dropped into folders, and over 60 slots are available.

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As another perk, the home screen now tracks your most visited websites. These are kept inside a folder adjacent to all of your other web apps.

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Expanded Search Options

Dolphin version 10 puts multiple search options right at your fingertips. Just start searching for anything and notice the icons that appear just above the keyboard. These provide quick access to Amazon, YouTube, Wikipedia, eBay, and Twitter. Facebook can be added via the settings menu.

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The default search provider can also be changed by tapping on the Google icon and selecting one of the available alternatives.

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Continued Flash, Theme Support

Flash can be toggled on and off in the app's settings menu, but it still requires the Adobe Flash apk to already be installed on your device to run. Likewise, the browser continues to support themes, and updated versions can be found in the Play Store. They are accessible from inside Dolphin and change the browser's appearance as soon as they are launched.

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In Brief

Other companies may take their mobile offerings seriously, but for MoboTap, this is their bread and butter. They continue to cram new care and functionality into each update, giving users ample reason to stick around. Dolphin isn't a dumbed down version of a desktop browser, it's an experience that can only be had on mobile, and version 10 makes it all the richer.

It's just a shame that menu button is plastered at the bottom of every screen on my HTC One. For a nitpicker like me, that's a deal breaker.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Mastermind26

    Not really dolphin related but:

    HOW DO YOU get the flash APK to install on the device? I have a GNex and have not successfully been able to run the flash apk.

    :(

    • mircea

      you don't have to run it, just install it and then enable support in browser (see the pictures above).

      • Mastermind26

        Thanks for that, but to clarify:
        It does a little test and says it failed to install properly (doesn't run any flash in the browsers).

        • mircea

          did you download it straight of adobe's website? try different versions. if that doesn't work, it's your rom's fault.

        • mircea

          and do you have enough free space to install?

          • Mastermind26

            Space, yes.

  • ViperX

    What´s that keyboard in the screenshots, wwhere can i get it? I like the new Dolphin, the UI is great to me.

    • LAKAME

      I think it's Sense 5's stock keyboard.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        That is correct.

      • ViperX

        Thank you.

  • philnolan3d

    I love Dolphin. It's still the only mobile browser that always shows me full web pages, not those crap mobile ones.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      You can install the Desktop Toggles add-on for a one-tap desktop/mobile switch that other browsers have too.

      The reason your browser shows you full desktop pages is probably because you set its user agent to desktop manually in the settings. That's not default behavior.

      • philnolan3d

        Sure, then you can hope and dream that one day those toggles will work.

      • Primalxconvoy

        The desktop toggle doesn't work. Numerous complaints at the Play Store. Shouldn't have to switch user agents, which is the whole point of the extension.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I'm using it, and it's worked perfectly for me.

          • Jobber

            Me too. No problems w desktop toggle.

          • Primalxconvoy

            It doesn't work for me, nor the myriad people who have posted reviews at the Play Store.

        • johnforamerica

          Or instead of a whole other extension, just program a gesture for "switch user agent". It's one of the many options in the gesture menu.

  • Oğuz Can Ayverdi

    Menu button? Wow, lol. Is it 2011 yet?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Yeah, they definitely need to fix this. It's partially HTC's fault for not going full software and not having the physical menu, but continuing to insist on this in-between approach, but Dolphin should figure this out already too. It's an easy change.

      • Guest

        Took me 5 minutes to mock up.

      • ProductFRED

        Took me 5 minutes to mock up (fixed).

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Contacted the Dolphin team with this feedback. I hope they fix it soon.

    • duse

      Unfortunately this alone makes me not think very highly of them, despite any other UI improvements they may have made. It demonstrates they can't even read and stick to a simple design doc.

      • Bertel King, Jr.

        I admire the amount of work put into this update, but I basically feel the same way. Dolphin has had many updates since 4.0 came out. Come on, now.

      • Toolbox

        New improvements on top of already being superior to other offerings. Yet you dislike the placement of a button enough to disparage all of 'them'??
        This doesn't scan.

  • WHO?

    Guess i will try it again since flash is re-enabled. "shrug"

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Loving this update. Dolphin is still my browser of choice for several reasons, even a year+ after Chrome was released.

    - Dolphin is a lot snappier than Chrome.
    - One-tap access to tabs and one-tap to close.
    - Extensions (!!) I literally can't go to any other browser because Dolphin is the only one that supports LastPass.
    - Flash

    The new UI lift is great. The bottom nav bar is awesome for large phones like the Note II.

    Come on, Google, catch up.

    • kindrudekid

      Firefox has lastpass

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Oh does it now? I'll check it out, thanks.

        • Spittie

          It's been supported for months (years?) now :)

        • kindrudekid

          They have had bit for months... Tough it is ... I don't know how to put it... But lastpass for firefox is smoother but its too far to access like tap the menu then last pass and then shit pops up... I prefer the dolphin swipe access as it is faster but when under heavy load dolphin and last pass are two separate apps so it takes time to show up in add on side swipe some times...

    • le_lutin

      Nav bar is at the bottom, but the url bar is still at the top meaning if you want to type in an address or search you have to reach all the way to the top of the phone. Not ideal on the Note 2. You covered Yandex browser yesterday and it's one thing it does really well. URL bar is at the bottom (with an icon to the right to view tabs). Also a swipe up from the url bar gives you a nice view of all you book marks.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Yup, I've actually communicated this desire to them a day before the Yandex browser came out and then pointed out the day after how receptive people are of the bottom bar idea. They seemed to like it, so maybe it'll be an option in the future.

      • Primalxconvoy

        I'm using it on a note 2 with no problems. The add to bookmarks Burton is a bit difficult though. Full screen browsing can be easily switched on or off which is perfect for when I use my note 2 as a computer.

    • Robert Williams

      Thumbs up there! No Lastpass support no Chrome

    • Cerberus_tm

      You don't miss gestures like "up-down" to refresh, "left-right" to go back, etc.? Firefox for Android has an add-on that lets you program gestures, and it works well, at least on my Galaxy Nexus.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        I don't really like using gestures on mobile at all, so I don't miss them.

        • johnforamerica

          Huh? "Miss" gestures? You can program in any gestures you want in Dolphin. I'm confused...

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            I am not into gestures, so I was just saying I don't care about them. If Dolphin supports them, that's great.

          • johnforamerica

            I meant the other poster. Even if you felt differently, Dolphin has full gesture support.

    • jcoltrane

      Why is it that folks on the Internet use phrases like "the only"? As if they have full knowledge of "every", "all", and "any" thing available!

      Anyone reading such comments would be inclined to think the poster surely knows of which he speaks.

      Yup, Firefox utilizes Lastpass, a very common, surely known browser, to anyone making "absolute" statements like "the only".

  • Nice Bird

    What I hate about Dolphin is the fact that it does not allow me to use built-in appliacations for YouTube and Google Play...

    • JerryDarkHorse

      This is exactly what stops me from using it too. Though it seems Play store links now allow you to open the official app. But it doesn't seem like any other apps are supported.

      • Primalxconvoy

        Dolphin allows me to open YouTube apps etc when I click on links but I'm using an older version.

  • Matthew Fry

    Wow... Dolphin gets a new UI like every 6 months. Not to say there's anything wrong with it. It's just weird people don't freak out about Dolphin like they do Facebook.

    • philnolan3d

      The last time I remember a Dolphin UI update was years ago.

    • Bertel King, Jr.

      Dolphin's changes are a lot less fundamental. I haven't used Dolphin extensively for nearly two years now, but it doesn't feel all that different from when I last tried it out. The same can't be said for Facebook (not that I've ever thrown a fit when Facebook implemented a new change - I'd be pretty content if they just fixed the menu button in their Android app).

  • Kristian

    I like the new web app store! And the browsing is even faster than before :D

  • Guest

    I still dislike the fact that dolphin doesn't give you the option to open outside apps when clicking on links associated with them. E.g. YouTube, IMDb. It forces you to watch YouTube videos on the mobile site within the browser. Play store links seem to be one of the few that it does allow the opening of the official app.

    Let me know if there is a setting I have missed.

  • Jan

    The Dolphin key is really cool! It gives easy access to everything, and at the same time full screen browsing..

  • eserim

    Still crashes in Wikipedia pages

  • miri

    Button of shame (old fashion menu button) and iOS elements? Try again.

  • Jason Bone’r

    Nothing can beat dolphin beta. I have never used a snappier browser. why doesn't the nav bar disappear when you scroll down ?

  • Primalxconvoy

    Although dolphin is my go to browser of choice, I haven't updated in a while; mainly due to poor bookmark saving (their cloud saving service doesn't work while updating to a newer or older version can delete bookmarks) and updated share fibrin that only allows Facebook sharing by default. And don't even get me started on that "jetpack" thingy.

  • http://wave-france.blogspot.com Supercopter

    So: Dolphin is ahead of Dolphin Beta... Yeah, that seems right...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Yeah, I brought that up to them - it makes no sense. Apparently, Dolphin 10 was in private beta only, so they never bothered to update the public one.

  • Brian Hillard

    Shame its still a complete pain in the ass. It keeps locking me in every ebay page I visit. Go and view an item, press back and the page simply reloads.

  • Encik Zamir

    Can u make option to change top to bottom navigation bar like opera mini.. i really hate top navigation bar when using big screen phone.

  • xehanort

    Is the privacy issue that happened a while ago sorted out, or is it still there in this version?

  • craig100

    Very disappointed it doesn't respect media queries in CSS. At least not on my Galaxy S3. When will this be fixed?