Posts Tagged ‘atomic’

Atomic Web

Price: FREE  (lite version) or $1.19 (Full screen browser w/desktop tabs & Ad block)

App size = 1.2 MB

[Click here to download LITE version from iTunes]
[Click here to download FULL version from iTunes]

Official App Description/Marketing spiel:

Atomic Web Browser is the most advanced and customizable full screen web browser to date. Experience desktop features including Adblock, Tabs, MultiTouch Gestures, user Agent Switcher, Passcode Lock, Facebook/Twitter integration, Save Page, and much more.

General comments and thoughts:

I’m not afraid to admit that I can’t do without tabbed browsing in a web browser.  I use tabs all the time and although the iPad’s inbuilt browser, Safari, is fast and easy to use… I’m not a huge fan of having to go back to a page of thumbnails where you have to select the page from a list. I miss being able to load up multiple tabs within the same web page.

This is the main reason why I splashed out (not that I’d really call $1.19 a huge expense!:)) and bought the full version of Atomic Web – the promise of tabbed browsing. And what a relief it is too. Using this browser to navigate web sites just seems FASTER in general, with the ability to load up tabs and switch between tabs being extremely quick (once your page has loaded).

When you are presented with a link on a page, you can click and hold and a contextual menu will appear where you can choose to open the link, open the link in a new tab or in a background tab.

Ease of Use:

First impressions of Atomic Web are great – the interface is clear and simple to use and you have the ability to view web pages in Full Screen mode. This essentially just gets rid of your tabs and your search and location bar, but it does give you an extra 5 cm’s of space on screen. Similar to viewing web pages using Safari, if you rotate the iPad, the interface will rotate, and you can double tap on an image of a column of text to zoom into it.

There is of course the usual bookmarking facilities, plus an inbuilt search bar which you can customise with your favourite search engines under Settings.

When viewing pages, you also have the ability to save web pages or share the URLs via Facebook or Twitter.

Atomic Web has also incorporated multi touch gesture support into the browser which is a useful feature (once you remember what each gesture does). The default settings are below however you can modify these to suit yourself.

Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Tabbed browsing (obviously). Plus if you open up multiple tabs at once, they load in the background.
  • Through the Settings you can set what browser you wish to use (Safari, MSIE,  Netscape, Firefox).  I’m not sure exactly how reliable this is but it could come in useful if you need to test on multiple browsers. You also have the ability to add your own custom search engines.
  • There is the function to launch the ‘last session, home page or last page viewed’, which is also very handy given I often find I’m searching the web and need to refer back to an email and switch apps half way through a task.  This means that if I open up an appointment reminder, in the middle of browsing a site, when I switch back to Atomic web, my last page viewed is still there.

Cons:

  • As with all web browsers on the iPad (or iPod), Flash elements do not display due to the fisticuffs between Apple and Adobe.
  • There is no ability to set Atomic as your default web browser.  If you click on a web link from within your email or another application, by default the iPad opens up Safari, which is a bit of a pain, but something I’ve learnt to live with.

Potential uses in Higher Education:

I think that this app is probably the one I use the most frequently (so far) on the iPad. As it is essentially just another web browser, I use it all the time to catch up on news, search for web sites, information and images while away from my desktop computer.

General web browsing appears to be a lot faster with this app than with Safari and the integration with social media allows quick and easy sharing of links and resources. You can opt to turn your images on and off which would also result in the faster download speed of pages.

All in all, a bargain app which I would highly recommend.

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