Developer: MoboTap Inc
Price: Free
Version: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Dolphin Browser may seem like “just another” web browser for the iPhone, but it comes with an interesting hook. Users can program drawn gestures for bookmarks and actions, allowing them to jump from favorite site to favorite site and more. In some cases it seems a bit unnecessary, but it definitely has its uses. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also a pretty comprehensive web browser on its own.

Now, I’ll admit I’ve been using the default browser on my phone since I’ve had it, so I haven’t messed around with many others, but Dolphin Browser does offer a bit more. It’s got tabs, a bookmarks menu that slides in from the left side of the screen, a window to display downloads and more. Then there’s the drawing thing. A number of doodles come pre-programmed that let users refresh, go back and forward, scroll up and down and so on by drawing simple shapes.

I’m a big fan of the increased number of options found in Dolphin Browser compared to the default. The tabs are nice, but I doubt they’re all that new. The menus that can be dragged in from the sides, however, are very convenient. Similarly, being able to assign a bookmark to a doodle makes navigation a snap. Plus it’s kind of fun to come up with single-stroke drawings for different addresses and tasks.

Conversely, a good many of the tasks the gesture-drawing is supposed to make easier just aren’t. Having to tap the gesture button in order to draw a Back arrow and go back takes more time and effort than simply tapping on the Back button. I can also imagine things getting a bit convoluted as more and more symbols are added to the library.

For a web browser with a “gimmick,” Dolphin Browser is all kinds of alright. The app itself is just as functional (even more so, actually) as the iPhone’s default, and the gesture drawing is surprisingly accurate. Some of the doodling seems utterly pointless, but it certainly makes for an interesting new way to peruse the internet.

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