The new Dolphin Browser HD for Android has the most features of any mobile web browser that I have ever seen. Some of the features, like tab browser windows, are similar to what you find in browsers for desktop computers, and other features, like gestures, are unique to touchscreen devices. In my brief testing, I found the browser to render pages very quickly and on par with, if not better, than Android’s browser. Unfortunately, the features cause the Dolphin Browser HD to be only available for phones running Android 2.0 or newer. Rather than my listing all of the features that are part of this browser, watch the following video, which gives a nice overview:
The two features that I find most interesting are gestures and add-ons. The gestures in the Dolphin Browser remind me of Google’s Gesture Search, which I really like. To draw a gesture on the screen you first tap the gesture button on the lower left of the screen (the button looks like a watermark of a finger) and then draw the gesture on the screen. Some built-in gestures include a line from right to left to go back and a line from left to right to go forward. You can define gestures to load specific URLs, for example I assigned “M” to load my personal weblog.
Add-ons are similar to Firefox’s extensions, and extend the functionality of the Dolphin Browser. Included with the browser is a list of 9 add-ons and tapping them launches the Android Market to install the add-on to your phone. One add-on backs up bookmarks to the storage card so that they could be recovered if something were to happen to your phone. This add-on not only backs up Dolphin’s bookmarks, it also backs up the Android browser’s bookmarks. The Delicious add-on is not working for me as it doesn’t seem that Delicious is retaining the permission that I am giving it to transfer data with the Dolphin Browser.
If you are unsatisfied with the Android browser, I suggest that you try the Dolphin HD Browser. If you own a phone running Android 2.0 or newer you will find it in the Android Market.