iCab Mobile: powerful replacement for Safari on iPhone/iPod Touch
By Jeff Salton
March 10, 2010
iCab Mobile is a web browser for the iPhone and iPod Touch with a great feature set and some unique and useful items not found in other iPhone browsers. One useful feature is scrolling via a scrollpad (tap the screen with three fingers to activate) that lets you go to any location within the web page instantly. iCab supports Tabs, Bookmarks and has a built-in filter that blocks many advertising banners.
It has a full-screen mode that hides all toolbars so the web page can use the whole screen. The apps' built-in download manager can handle multiple downloads over 3G and can upload files back to Mac/PC over Wi-Fi later. iCab Mobile also lets you select which search engines you wish to deploy and has a function that lets users open the search results in a new window.
iCab Mobile comes with several default search engines you can choose from but you can add new search engines with a tap of your finger. It’s also possible to search within a web page with results highlighted in yellow.
Repeatedly filling out forms manually is annoying but iCab Mobile can save web forms and restore the form content later with a finger tap. The saved forms' data can be password-protected.
A plug-in manager for pages lets users change fonts and gives you the tools to choose to download a YouTube movie as an MP4 file.
International domain names are supported and there is also a built-in and customizable URL-based filter. You can edit the filters, add new filters or remove existing ones. You can also switch off the loading of images to save bandwidth.
The Tab overview panel lets users switch Tabs, delete or open new ones. Links can also be opened in the background or foreground or you can set iCab Mobile to ask you where you wish to open the link. When quitting, all tabs are saved so they can be opened in offline mode if no Internet connection is available the next time iCab is launched.
Bookmarks can be organized in folders and easily imported/exported from/to your PC/Mac browser.
iCab Mobile's built-in download manager will download any type file from the web. These files can be transferred to the Mac/PC and also displayed directly in iCab if the iPhone OS supports the file types (like audio, video, text, pictures).
Other features include the ability to lock the screen in either portrait or landscape view. If selecting “private browsing”, no history and cookies will be saved.
Built-in Help gives users access to details about all the features of iCab Mobile, which can be configured automatically. And the browser can be launched with either an empty page or the homepage, the last active tab or restore all tabs.
Page compression is delivered via Google Mobilizer and users can choose a variety of different color schemes to individualize their screens. Naturally, iCab Mobile uses Webkit to ensure everything looks right.
This version, 2.1, has several bugfixes and improvements over previous releases. It is available for US$2.49 on iTunes.
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