Developer: Digital Poke
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

The 360 Web Browser seems like an awesome idea on the surface. For all those iPhone users sick of the limited mobile Safari, it promises a ton of features: tabs, plugins, an innovative “arc,” and more. And in most cases, the 360 Web Browser delivers—unfortunately, the browser is also slow, crash-prone, and unintuitive, making this app a potential star that still needs some work.

Most notable are a few neat features: first of all, tabs are a welcome feature that I miss dearly in mobile Safari. The “arcs” are two small buttons that hover at the bottom corners of your screen, and expand to offer a dial of options (new tab, history, etc). It’s a great way to make a lot of features easily accessible. Other useful features: saving pages for offline viewing, fullscreen mode, support for landscape and portrait orientation, and a default page that can display mini-icons for “famous” pages, bookmarks, or commonly visited sites. There are also plugins available for download. Oh, and you get adblock, too.

All of these powerful features make the 360 Web Browser almost equal to a normal desktop browser in terms of what it can do. However, a few key drawbacks make clear why Apple chose the bare-bones approach for mobile safari. First and foremost, the 360 Web Browser is slow – not painfully slow, but slow all the same, and that’s on a WiFi connection. Secondly, it tends to crash. And finally, it just takes so long to learn where all the commands are! If you desperately need more advanced browsing features, you’ll be willing to invest the time to learn the 360 Web Browser’s interface, but from a casual user perspective it’s annoying. A necessary evil, given the sheer number of features, but still an annoying one.

The 360 Web Browser is a potentially great product. It’s packed with functionality, certainly, perhaps too packed. I’d prefer a leaner, simpler browser that was just more reliable and zippier. Still, if you need a more fully featured browser or you’re just sick of mobile Safari’s stunted abilities, the 360 Web Browser is definitely worth using. Just be aware of the drawbacks, too.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Productivity, Reviews

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