If you're anything like me, you tend to avoid private browsing apps. There is something almost comical about someone trying to type out a long URL address on an iPhone touch screen, bent over a tiny virtual keyboard that can easily mistake your well-intentioned selections so that you end up with complete gibberish. This is the kind of browsing experience the creators of the Dolphin Browser for iPhone wanted to eliminate when they developed a browser that takes the nuisance out of iPhone web surfing. You can probably read about every single feature of the Dolphin Browser on the developers' website, but I want to walk you through some of the things that truly impressed me. First, that the app is free of charge, really takes the cake for me. Second, imagine this: that with the browser window open you can use your index finger to trace a big letter "Y" over the whole screen to be taken to "You Tube" or a big letter "H" to go to your web-based email server. This is the gadget, what the program calls a "gesture," that has me really excited. I can program just about any gesture to take me to a specific webpage, thus saving myself either a tedious search through my bookmarks or that painful process of typing out an address in the URL bar. What impresses me is all the arthritis and RSI I am saving my self from, by using the Gesture feature.
Dolphin also lets you reach a near full browser functionality that competes with Explorer, Safari or Firefox. For instance, you can download as many add-ons to the Dolphin browser as there are available, and with daily additions, the add-ons have now exceeded fifty options; your old-fashioned bookmark folder still exists; as does a regular browser tool bar -- actually, it's a side bar, with one on the left and another on the right that allow you quick access to certain websites, folders and features. Tabbed browsing is another bonus feature of the Dolphin browser, which means you can jump between pages and web locations. You can be deciding what you are going to eat for dinner, viewing the soup de jour at Restaurant X in tab number one, while checking the local public transport timetable in tab number two (to see when and how you are going to get there), whilst in tab number three you might be instant messaging your buds on Facebook to meet you there.
Now, I am not saying that the Dolphin Browser can really replace web browsing the way the Almighty intended it—and that's on something bigger than my sunglasses case—but it can certainly alleviate some of the suffering we might experience, when in emergency situations we find ourselves having to browse the net from our iPhones for hours on end. And, if you suffer from the Rheumatological conditions that leave your digits swollen and the iPhone impervious to your multiple attempts to select "a" instead of "s" or "o" instead of "i", then the Dolphin's Gesture technology brings a new kind of relief from arthritic pains. If you have used Dolphin Browser, tell us (and the other readers) what you think of it in the comments section below. Do you think this is a great iPhone private browser?