Dolphin gets browser sync, easier sharing, Evernote integration

By , Jan 17, 2013

Dolphin 7.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)Dolphin 7.0 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)

Dolphin, the popular third-party browser for iOS and Android, received a major update today. In addition to the obligatory stability and performance improvements, developers added a few new features you’ll be excited about. For starters, Dolphin now has browser sync that keeps your environment and settings flawlessly consistent across desktop and your mobile devices powered by iOS or Android.

You can also send tabs, images, phone numbers and directions from a mobile device to your computer, share to social networks and email articles. And if you live in Evernote, Dolphin now lets you grab any web content and save it directly to your Evernote (or Box) account, useful for saving a particular article or document for later, especially if you are not a huge fan of Instapaper or a similar read-later service…

Developers (finally) added some new preference items to set Dolphin to open all tabs from a previous session. If you’re like me and have at least a dozen tabs open at any given time, you’ll appreciate this long overdue feature a lot.

Here is a video showing off clipping articles to Evernote.

The ability to send tabs, images, phone numbers and directions from your mobile device to desktop requires a browser plug-in on the desktop side for Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Unfortunately, URLs to download these extensions provided in the official blog post did not work for me at press time.

As this feature works over Wi-Fi only, in my view it definitely needs improving: I’m thinking something more seamless and akin to iCloud Tabs in Safari.

And the screenshot below depicts how new sharing features appear on Android.

Dolphin 7.0 for Android (Share screenshot)

As you can see, sharing to Facebook and Twitter is supported (good-bye, app switching insanity!) along with friends tagging and the ability to annotate with a note or drawing in Dolphin for iPad. By the way, browser sync includes your bookmarks, history items, open tabs and passwords.

Dolphin 7.0 for iOS (iPad teaser)

Your changelog:

• one-tap share: Right from Dolphin, you can tweet webpages, post them to Facebook, or share them via email
• remember everything: Clip web content while browsing Dolphin and save it directly to Evernote (Beta) or Box
• Dolphin Connect:
– Send to Device: Use Dolphin with our Chrome/Firefox/Safari extensions** to send tabs, images, phone numbers and directions between desktop and mobile
– Sync: Now you can sync bookmarks/tabs/history/passwords across devices
• WiFi broadcast: Share with your friends by sending them a web page instantly through a shared wifi
• customize Dolphin: Set Dolphin to open to the home screen or all tabs from your previous session

Dolphin Browser 7.0 is a free download from the App Store for your iPhone and iPod touch. The iPad build is a separate download (I really hope they soon merge two versions into a single universal binary). Note that the voice-activated feature called Sonar is a $0.99 in-app purchase.

Nick Summers of The Next Web delved deep into the release so check out his quick review for more hands-on impressions.

Dolphin 7.0 for iOS (iPad screenshot 001)Dolphin 7.0 for iOS (iPad screenshot 002)

You can also download Dolphin for Android from Google’s Play Store.

Dolphin first landed on the App Store in August 2011 as a fan favorite on Android. Last major update was in April 2012 and it had brought out new features like voice control, URL keyboard, night mode and more.

As you know, I have both iOS and Android devices.

That said, it goes without saying I’m a regular Dolphin user on both platforms.

Though on iOS gadgets Safari and Chrome remain my most-used browsers, I often re-discover nice things in Dolphin that make me remember why I fell in love with this feature-packed, speedy browser software in the first place.

Frankly, you are missing out on something special if you pass on Dolphin. With more than fifty million cummulative downloads on both iOS and Android, developer MoboTap clearly is onto something here.

With the frictionless sharing, web clipping and browser sync now in place, perhaps you should give Dolphin another try?

Do you use Dolphin and is it, in your view, a credible alternative to Safari and Chrome?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/linton.findlay Linton Findlay

    not much point in having a 3rd party browser, unless it can be set to default browser. and often features from safari are missing like read later and full screen mode. plus safari has nitro engine to make it faster wheres the others dont

    • RB McKinney

      Moron above me. I like how they’ve made sharing “easier” and boast “one-click sharing” when it actually takes 4 taps to pull up an email share

    • BumpyFlatline

      I agree. But if you’re jailbroken then it is possible to address all of your concerns regarding using Dolphin as the main browser. Since my 4S is jailbroken, I use:
      1) BrowserChanger to set Dolphin as my default browser (and to also make the App Store version of Google Maps app the default map program which is a nice bonus)
      2) I use Pocket and the fantastic workaround Bookmarklet feature to save websites to the Pocket app so I can read it later (which is flipping awesome because the website rendering in the Pocket app is so much easier to read than on the actual website…go figure. I also use this bookmarklet for Chrome and Safari)
      3) Dolphin has a native full screen mode but the status bar remains on the screen. If that’s bothersome, I believer Ryan Petrich has a tweak which can force Dolphin to hide the status bar which would give the user a few more pixels of web browsing space.
      4) I use the Nitrous tweak to enable the Nitro JavaScript Engine throughout the entire iOS which obviously includes Dolphin

      I am listing all of these workarounds in case anyone else has reservations about switching their default browser from Safari to a 3rd party browser like Dolphin or Chrome. I go back and forth between Dolphin and Chrome as my personal favorite. They both offer tremendous features that are important to me. Of course in order to be able to do all this, you need to be jailbroken

      • http://www.facebook.com/linton.findlay Linton Findlay

        yh im aware of the jailbreak tweaks as i use to use them with chrome before i updated to ios6. im hoping ios7 will hold a larger sandbox for 3rd party apps such as browsers, calendars and reminder apps, to allow them to have native-like usability. cant see why not apple wont, they would make alot more money from people when they buy alternatives to their basic apps. id also rather built in read mode, than have another app downloaded such as instapaper