Dolphin

One of the most popular alternative browsers for Android is Dolphin, shown in Figure 10-12. It's also my favorite. Dolphin is WebKit based, like the Browser app, and it supports multitouch pinch-to-zoom gestures. It also allows for tabbed browsing instead of having to use the Menu button and find open windows.

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Figure 10-12. Dolphin gestures

Dolphin supports plug-ins, and, unlike the Browser app, allows you to manage plug-ins individually through the Settings menu. Developers have caught on, and there are many plug-ins and themes available for Dolphin.

One of the coolest features of Dolphin is gesture support. Click the gesturing hand in the bottom-right corner of the screen (you can change this location in the settings), and you can use preconfigured or user-defined gestures to navigate. For instance, trace M to add a bookmark, or add your own gesture to navigate to Google.

Users of phones with Android 2.0 and above can download Dolphin Browser HD for even more options, including a "thumbnail-flick" menu, which lets you browse through favorites and tabs by flicking side to side, and the ability to back up your bookmarks to your SD card and download YouTube videos for smoother viewing.

One of the more user-friendly features I appreciate is that Dolphin Browser HD launches a tutorial the very first time you use it and prompts you to change your default browser and install a shortcut to your Home screen.

Dolphin HD's biggest disadvantage is the same reason it won't run on older versions of Android: it's resource intensive. If you find your browser slowing down, switch to the standard version of Dolphin Browser.

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