Browsers for iOS devices seem to proliferate like so many tribbles, but since they are bound by Apple’s rules, their performance is basically the same. It’s the features that differentiate them. After reading A Few Nice iCab Tricks for 2016, I abruptly spent my $1.99 for iCab Mobile and have been a happy camper ever since.
iCab Mobile started out as a browser for the Atari ST/TT line of computers. The author, Alexander Claus, switched to a Mac when Atari closed up shop, and rewrote the app for the classic Mac OS. iCab was one of the last browsers that still supported OS 9. Claus currently updates iCab for OS X and iOS.
In the article linked above, Gabe really goes in depth on the features of iCab Mobile, so I’ll limit my favorite features to three.
iCab Mobile services support
iCab Mobile supports two of the services I use all of the time, Pocket and Delicious. Pocket is a service that captures web pages to be read later. I use it on long articles so I can enjoy them when I have the time. Delicious is where I store all of my bookmarks. That way I can access them from any machine, regardless of the software installed on the machine.
For bonus points, I also use Pocket as a quick and dirty bookmark saver with an IFTTT recipe that creates a bookmark in Delicious for every article I save to Pocket.
Multiple user support
iCab allows me to have different profiles, which makes it nice to separate my personal browsing from work. Yes, Chrome also has this, but its implementation is clunky and not as fast. The accounts button is right beside the URL bar, making it a two tap affair to switch to a different profile.
Each profile has different settings, one of which is to set a password for the profile. So you can set your kids up with standard profiles, but set your profile to be an administrator and require a password or Touch ID. There is also a special Kiosk profile, which, when combined with Guided Access, would allow an iOS device to be set up as a locked down kiosk.
Twin browser mode
When running on an iPad twin browser mode lets me place to sites side by side. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on the iPhone.
The button to switch to Twin Browser mode isn’t enabled by default. You can customize the interface and add it by tapping on the gear and navigating to User Interface -> Toolbar Icons and dragging the Twin Browser icon to where you want it.
iCab Mobile also offers full support for bluetooth keyboards (customizable, of course), a download manager, Lastpass support, and a built in QR code reader. The only thing I can’t find is a sync settings option. It would be nice to not have to customize both my iPad and my iPhone.