Apple has a policy that app that simply replicate existing features of iOS are not permitted in the App Store, so anything that has been designed to replace an built in tool must also offer something unique. When it comes to web browsing there is not a great deal of scope for innovation, particularly when it comes to the small screen of the iPhone and iPod, but Dolphin Browser demonstrates that there is always room for improvement.
The most notable feature to be found in Dolphin Browser is support for gestures. Rather than using buttons to move back and forwards between pages, you can draw a variety of shapes on the screen with your finger instead. As well as skipping back and forth between pages, you can also quickly jump to the top or bottom of the current site. This saves screen space, and the available space is put to excellent use if you opt to use full screen mode.
Just like Opera, Dolphin Browser makes use of a Speed Dial feature that provides easy access to your most frequently visited web sites. When you are surfing the internet, tabbed browsing makes it easy to work with multiple pages at the same time and it's good to see that tabbed browsing works in a way that will be familiar to anyone who has used a desktop browser - it differs from the likes of Safari in that tabbed browser actually means working with tabs rather than a half-hearted alternative.
Another interesting feature of the app is its Webzine page that can be used as your start page. By default this can be used to access your Twitter and Facebook accounts, but additional panels can be added to provide access to news stories from a variety of online sources. This flexibility goes far beyond the usual option of being able to choose a home page, and it very welcome.
Dolphin Browser 3.0 is a major upgrade, with these new features/fixes:
-Brand new Gesture interface and process
-Cleaner and simplified Webzine style
-Easier process for adding new Webzine columns
-Improved overall performance and stability
-Fixed page loading issues for easier browsing
-Fixed crash bugs on iOS 5
-Fixed keyboard popup issue that affected certain websites