Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini retina
iPad Integration Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use Value Rating:
Offering plenty of potential amongst some annoying crashing issues comes Starfly, a new browser for the iPad. Feeling in some ways like a desktop replacement as well as web browser, it’s quite stylish to use even though that’s to the detriment of some practicality.
There’s the choice of delving straight into regular web browsing, but I found myself immediately drawn to the customization options. You can easily tweak various parts of Starfly. There’s a side bar offering up weather details for your area, as well as a place to open multiple tabs while always having a preview of what’s within them. On the opposite side is another side bar that dictates history. Both are a little cumbersome to pull out, sometimes not proving as quick and easy to draw out with a gesture as you’d like, but they’re a nice idea.
Other customization comes courtesy of the option to change the color scheme of the app, as well as background imagery. I found this particularly prone to crashing when diving into the classic color options, so I’d suggest dodging it.
Fortunately, when browsing, Starfly works pretty well with few crashes. It’s reasonably quick to browse and offers helpful shortcuts too, with a speed dial section allowing you to organize things how you wish. The app's ability to make you feel in control is pretty sound in this respect, granting you ownership in a way that Safari just can't manage. While there’s rarely an opportunity in which I need to perform some calculations while browsing, a built-in calculator could be convenient depending on your situation.
Starfly isn’t perfect by any means but it is a pretty interesting alternative to Safari. It’s free to download and therefore accompanied by ads, but they’re not too intrusive. Get used to the not quite perfect gesture responses and dodge that crash-heavy classic style changer, and you’ve got yourself a decent change to the usual browsing experience.