Tim’s Power Web Surfing Tips Part 1: iOS Browsers

Hey there. Because I’ve been browsing the Web since the early 90s, I’ve amassed a great deal of skill in (a) performing ultra-accurate and fast Web searches; and (b) tweaking network connections and Web browsers for optimum performance and comfort. To this end, I would like to pass along some tips and tricks to you! This blog post is the first installment of what I hope will be a long series on how to become a power Web surfer.

This first article centers on the best Web browsers I’ve found for the Apple iOS platform. Certainly, we iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad users don’t have to limit ourselves to the built-in default Safari browser. My biggest complaint with Safari on iOS, especially on the iPad, is the fact that pages refresh every time you switch pages. This behavior is SO annoying to me! Many people don’t know that alternate browsers exist in the App Store.

Atomic Web Browser

The Atomic Web Browser represents an answered prayer for me. Number one, with Atomic, we don’t have the auto page refresh nonsense that we suffer with inSafari. Number two, we have so many features of full-fidelity Web browsers scaled down to an iOS form factor. Some of these features include:

  • True tabbed browsing
  • Multi-touch gestures
  • Tweaked-out search box
  • Ability to save Web pages for offline viewing
  • Ad blocking (Yes!)
  • Page source viewer
  • User agent switcher
  • Download manager

And the list goes on. I love the Atomic Web Browser. You can’t beat the price, either—as of this writing, the app sells for 99 cents in the App Store:

Atomic Web Browser – Browse Full Screen w/ Download Manager and DropBox

Skyfire Mobile Browser

Unfortunately, neither Adobe nor Microsoft get along too well with Apple. Therefore, we iOS-based folks are currently out of luck with respect to playing Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight content on our iPhones, iPod Touches, or iPads. However, if you are a CBT Nuggets streaming subscriber, though, you don’t have to worry about Silverlight/iOS incompatabilities–You can simply download the CBT Nuggets iPhone and iPad mobile apps!

For all your other iOS-based Adobe Flash (and HTML5!) viewing needs, I hesitatingly recommend the Skyfire Mobile Browser.

The technology here that allows youto “bypass” the iOS restriction in playing Flash content is pretty clever; check out the vendor’s Web site to read more about it.

Friends, the reason why I only “hesitatingly” recommend the Skyfire browser is that you may very well discover after investing 3 or 5 bucks that the app does not render the Flash that you want or need to see. In other words, Skyfire’s ability to transcode Flash on the fly is, shall we say, on the limited side.

However, I offer the app for your consideration because it is the most solid offering among an extremely light selection of options for rendering Flash on an iOS device.

Happy studying!