Dolphin Browser Mini review

December 7th, 2010 by Derek Anderson Leave a reply »

One FAST Android browser is the maker of the very popular Dolphin Browser, Dolphin HD browser and now Dolphin Browser Mini. These are all alternative Internet browsers for Android smartphones.

I started out using the original Dolphin Browser and I thought it was great that a developer had created an Android browser that offered tabbed browsing. Surfing the Internet with tabs is the only way to fly! I got my first taste of this with Mozilla Firefox back in 2004? (don’t remember).
When I first got my Android phone, I was somewhat disappointed that tabs were not part of the stock browser. This remains true today…shame on Google! They have an awesome browser with Google Chrome, you think they could have shown a little tab love in the stock Android browser.

Enter Dolphin HD

Dolphin HD is the sequel to the very popular Dolphin Browser and it offers a whole lot more. Simply adding the ability to have increased functionality through 3rd party add-ons is incredible. There is an immense list of add-ons available for Dolphin HD and more are being added.

However…with all this added functionality comes an increase in demand from the hardware. Some older Android devices become more sluggish as you add more apps to the device. This is natural. It’s not generally the fault of any one app, but a combination of all the apps demands from the device.

Enter Dolphin Browser Mini saw this app/performance issue and realized that many, many people use their phones to surf the Internet and these same people may blame the browser for overall slow performance of the hardware. This would not do!
So…Dolphin Browser Mini was born.

This is a fantastic browser right from the start. Even though this is a ‘Preview’ release…sounds beta to me.

* New fresh UI. A clean and simple user experience is available for you, Dolphin Mini provides a brand-new look and feel to you.
* Speed through the web. The Web has never been so fast until you use Dolphin Mini which loads web pages much more quickly than
other mobile phone browsers.
* Infinite tabs browsing. You can open infinite tabs when browsing since there is no limitation on the amount.
* Innovative Menu design (tool box). It is not the final version, we will upgrade it.

When using Dolphin Browser Mini, I discovered that setting the home page via the manual method doesn’t work properly. You need to create a bookmark of the page you want as your homepage. Then you need to long press on that bookmark (in bookmark view) and then select ‘set as homepage’. The developer has said that this will be fixed in the next release.

Downloading content such as images generally fails after the first attempt due to some type of storage limit or restriction. Not sure why. At this point, there is no way to set a ‘save to’ destination. You are allowed to modify the name of the file download, but you can’t choose where to save it.

Exit dialog
I noticed that when you click on a link in a page, it will generally open in a new tab. This is a good thing because I usually don’t want to lose the page I am currently on. If I don’t care about that page…its just one click to close that tab…no big deal. I did notice that if you hit the ‘back button’ when you are on the root or starting page of a website, you are presented with an ‘Exit’ dialog. This is NOT a tab exit…this is a browser exit. Not sure why I would want a browser exit option when i have multiple tabs open.

Text selection
Selecting text is still broken. You can select text…but its not nearly refined as you will find on an iPhone. This is a shortfall of Android…NOT Dolphin Browser Mini. Mini actually makes it a bit easier by giving you the option right in the menu dialog.

Forward button
Did you know that there is a ‘Forward’ button in the menu dialog? This is awesome! You may ask yourself…”have I ever used the forward button?” On my PC…hardly ever. On my smartphone…I have wanted this feature simply because I have accidentally hit the bach button one too many times and been annoyed at the steps necessary to get back to where I was.

Dolphin Browser Mini is not currently on the Android Market.

You will have to download the file (.apk) and manually install it. There is a setting in the ‘Applications’ menu in your settings that should allow you to install apps that aren’t in the Android Market. You will need to enable this in order to install Mini.


(this is a link to a Google code page used for hosting this download)

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