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.
There are plenty of legitimate reasons for wanting a private browser mode. Maybe you're on a shared device and you don't want to leave history. Maybe you're concerned that you're being watched by shadowy government alphabet organizations (and you are). But let's be honest with ourselves here: the most common reason for using Incognito or private mode is porn. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
On the other hand, it's kind of a pain to switch between standard and private modes in any browser, making you less likely to actually use the privacy/security/monkey-spanking feature.
For serious web addicts, sometimes Chrome just doesn't do it. Dolphin is one of the more popular and, more importantly, more consistent browsers available on the Play Store. But some Nexus 5 owners weren't happy to see that their favorite alternate browser had a killer KitKat bug: it couldn't zoom in with the standard pinching gesture. After a bit of time in beta, the fix has now been applied to the stable build in version 10.1.2.
We've seen Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat all turn to the Play Store to manage their beta programs, and while this is a great mechanism for handling unpolished software releases, most of us use our phones for more than making status updates, tweeting, and sending private pictures. There are other apps out there that it would be fun to have early access to, and web browsers rank high among them.
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.
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.
Android users have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to web browsers. Chrome, Dolphin, Opera, and Firefox all have their pros and cons, not to mention their fans. It's been a while since we had a promising newcomer hit the mobile browser space, but the Go Launcher Dev Team (makers of the customization-friendly GO Launcher and Next Launcher 3D, among many others) are giving it a shot. Next Browser is a free download, available now for devices running Android 2.2 and higher.
Much like keyboards (which we covered last week), browsers are a dime a dozen. Google ships one browser with Android (in more recent versions, that's been Chrome), which most manufacturers then replace with their own proprietary version. And then there are the dozens (if not hundreds) of third-party browsers available on the Play Store.
At the beginning of the month, the Dolphin team released a new version of their popular browser to the Play Store. It featured the normal UI and performance enhancements, but apparently that just wasn't good enough for the Dolphin crew. Today, they have released a public beta of Dolphin Browser that brings some pretty impressive numbers where HTML5 rendering speed is concerned:
Everyone's favorite third-party browser, Dolphin Browser HD, got a fairly major update today that not only brings some improved features, but also a name change (albeit a minor one). The browser formerly known as Dolphin Browser HD is now simply known as Dolphin Browser.
With this new name, comes some new features, including a cleaner, improved address bar that offers more search suggestions, a better interface for tablets, and "larger space for big thumbs and small keypads."
The update also brings the option to have a shortcut directly to Sonar on the homescreen, better bookmark management (easier deletion of bookmarks), and the always important "stability and performance" improvements.
Bookmark sync is one of the best features of the Android stock browser (and Chrome for ICS devices), but there's one major flaw with it: what if you don't use the stock browser (or you don't have ICW)? Well, if Dolphin's your default browser, we have good news - there's now an extension in the Chrome Web Store that allows Dolphin to sync all of your desktop bookmarks to your mobile, and vice-versa.