Chrome is the go-to browser for most of the Android world, but those who need a little variety or customization hold the long-standing Dolphin in high regard. The latest beta for Dolphin Browser adds a completely revamped user interface (which the developers seem to do at least once a year now) and a goody basket full of new features. Easily the best among them is support for the official Dolphin extension OneTap, which essentially copies the background-loading app Link Bubble. Nice.

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The beta is accessible on the Play Store after joining this Google+ community. (Note: there's also a newer official Dolphin community, but it looks like Beta 11 is going out to users in both.) A full list of additional features is available in that link, but the highlights include a new right-swipe sidebar and menu bar, cloud tab sync support, bookmark sorting, and 40 free browser themes.

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Current user interface for Dolphin 10 (left) and Dolphin 11 Beta (right).

Our own fearless leader Artem Russakovskii is a ferocious Dolphin fan. Here are some of his notes on Beta 11 release, straight from the horse's mouth:

  • The 6 quick actions on the right slideout bar are awesome. They are:
    1. Fullscreen mode.
    2. Classic Tabs (show or hide the tabs at the top). Since the tab switcher moved to the bottom right, the classic tabs are now superfluous, but people, like myself, are way too used to them.
    3. Night mode. Night mode is absolutely awesome - it makes things super dark and inverts colors so you can still see stuff. Fantastic feature.
    4. Desktop mode.
    5. Private mode.
    6. No images mode.

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  • There's now a permanent bar at the bottom.
  • In this bar, we now have a new style tab manager.

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  • Unfortunately, the reload page button has moved up to the same location where it is in Chrome, so you can no longer refresh without reaching all the way up there. Oh well.
  • You can now pull up from the tab switcher to close current tab (see above). Neat!
  • Same pull-up gesture works for the Dolphin icon and fires up the Dolphin Sonar (voice search).

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  • The Home bookmark grid has a lot of padding and doesn't fit as many icons as it used to. Probably still a beta quirk and may depend on device. For example, on my OnePlus One, it can now only show 9 bookmarks whereas it used to show 12.

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  • There are now themes which change the background image of the new tab page as well as adjust the color of the UI.
  • You can now do a tab push with a single tap to any other Dolphin Connect enabled device. The sent tab opens up instantly. Very handy.

You can expect this new version of Dolphin to show up in the Play Store, sans-Google+ community signup, sometime in the next few weeks.

Here are the Google+ communities you can join to download and discuss the beta:

Source: Dolphin Google+