360 Web Browser for iPhone, iPad App Review
By: Saloni Srivastava
Version #: 4.0.1
Developer: By Digital Poke
Price: $0.99User Rating:
I have a love/hate relationship with Safari for the iPhone. On one hand it is fast and to the point. The controls are clear and easy to use. On the other hand, those large easy to use controls can get in the way of the content. Safari lacks some of the more advanced features that pro users might find useful. There have been several attempts to create alternative browsers and each has met with various amount of success. One thing these browsers all have in common is that they never have all the features of a full desktop browser. While many would say a mobile browser shouldn’t have all the fun, Digital Poke thought otherwise when they released their 360 Browser. This web browser comes about as close as you possibly can to the range of power and features found on your average desktop browser.
To examine all the features this app has to offer would turn this simple review into a veritable novel, so I will focus on a handful of it’s more interesting features. The most immediately useful and easy to grasp feature 360 brings to the table is the full screen browser. When activated, it maximizes the screen real-estate which is a blessing for article reading and photo browsing. The controls in this mode are accessed from two transparent fields at the bottom. These bring up two “arcs” that contain a large number of features like switching tabs, bookmarking, text zoom, and hiding/showing the address bar. These arc take a little time to get use to but after a couple minutes of use I got the hang of it.
That feature alone would make this an interesting candidate for a Safari replacement but that is just scratching the surface. One of the most touted features of 360 is the Firefox sync. This allows you to easily synchronize your bookmarks, open tabs, and history from your desktop to your iPhone. This feature also requires you to install a plugin in Firefox but that installation is quick and easy. Those people who find themselves quickly moving between their office and the road will find this feature a big time saver.
Finally, we come to one of the other big improvements 360 makes over Safari, and that is file downloads. In Safari you are limited to saving images, but in 360, you can download virtually any file and save them to your iPhone for later. You can start multiple downloads in a queue and when finished, can place them in a folder and even compress them with zip. On the other end you are able to extract zip files and also make uploads to your Dropbox account. Unfortunately, 360 lacks the ability to upload to sites from this file manager which I hope is a feature that they implement soon as it would bring us full circle with online file management.
This just scratches the surface of what 360 has to offer. From real tabs, to plugins like Firebug, 360 is a strong contender for full featured browsing on the iOS. Even though the interface seems a bit cluttered at times, the long list of added features makes up for it. If you find yourself frustrated by the limitations of the iPhone’s built in browser, you should give 360 a spin and see if this is just what you are looking for.
We rate this app 4 out of 5 stars.
Article By Nathan Kline
mitb has written 134 awesome app reviews.