Third Party Web Browser Approved for the iPhone

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by Franz Bicar

We’ve all heard about the supposed “evil” that is Apple. We’ve complained about them locking their hardware to their different softwares and services. Most of these complaints are because of the iPhone. Lots of users would love to have the freedom that wasn’t given by its manufacturers. But now, one could suggest that Apple has been listening to its users. New web browsers for the iPhone started appearing in Apple’s App Store, contrary to the company’s previous policy of denying applications that duplicate functionality of its own software.

Four new Web browsers are now available in the App store, and those more popular ones (hopefully firefox, opera, etc.) could follow suit. However, the new browsers are just different user interface implementations of the built-in iPhone rendering engine - WebKit. So basically, the code in the new apps rendering the web pages is still Apple’s. We’ll just have to wait and see if Apple does allow softwares different from their own.

The browsers that appeared in the App Store are the Edge Browser, which removes the address and navigation bars from Safari, leaving more screen space for viewing the actual webpage you are browsing. Then there’s  WebMate:Tabbed Browser, as the name suggests, brings tabbed browsing to the iPhone by queuing up all the links you click on and then displaying them in an orderly fashion. The other two browsers, Incognito and Shaking Web, offer untraceable browsing and respectively compensate the small hand shaking for easier reading with the help of a sophisticated algorithm.

But there’s only one thing I would love to see included in a browser on the iPhone. That is support for flash.



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