As much as I like having access to the web through the iPhone, and I wonder whose brilliant idea it was to set up Safari to hijack as much real estate on the screen as it does. Why do I need to see the address window while navigating the web when space is limited to […]
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Review: Mercury Web Browser trumps iPhone’s Safari

Mercury Web Browser

As much as I like having access to the web through the iPhone, and I wonder whose brilliant idea it was to set up Safari to hijack as much real estate on the screen as it does. Why do I need to see the address window while navigating the web when space is limited to the dimensions offered by the touch screen? Do you realize the percentage of space at both the top and bottom that are eliminated by the address bar and navigation buttons? I didn’t, but someone did; and that developer is iLegendSoft with their Mercury Web Browser.

There are multiple advantages to this awesome mobile browser. First, it maximizes the full screen by placing navigation, settings, and bookmark buttons as unobtrusive transparent overlays in the lower left. It acts and feels as if it were a desktop web browser (and more cohesive than iPhone’s Safari) with things like forward and back buttons, list bookmarks with a springboard display of icons, the ability to save pages for offline browsing, and integrated Google search through the address bar.

Aside from maximizing the screen for browsing, Mercury also makes the address bar disappear to allow a full display (but it can be re-displayed with a “tap” on a small arrow in the upper right). Shown then are buttons for a refresh, home, as well as “close tab” and “new tab.”

Mercury Web Browser 2

Yes, you read that right: Mercury Browser allows tabbed browsing in an iPhone environment! I thought this was a game changer when desktop browsers integrated tabs over multiple windows and am stunned that Apple missed this with its mobile Safari when you see the beauty and simplicity of it in action. Up to 6 tabs can be opened for browsing and each tab displays a picture icon and title, and just as in a desktop version of tabbed browsers – Safari, Firefox, et. al. – the tabs shrink in size as more of them open (so that there is no scrolling needed) and you only have to touch the tab to bring that page forward. To close and exit a tab, tap the “X” when that tab’s page is displayed. Again, when scrolling down, up, pinch-zooming, etc, the address and tab panel hides to maximize viewing of what’s important – the website. And never fear, landscape mode is also fully functional.

Mercury Web Browser settings

Another benefit of this browser resides in the Settings menu where you can see Bookmarks in springboard-style icons, a history list condensed by date, a download list, and often-desired Private Browsing that disables cookies and history. The only drawback of using this is that there is no way to see if you’re using Private Browsing option while surfing (perhaps changing the color of the address bar when it’s open could be an indication).

Mercury Web Browser bookmarks

And this comes at the underpriced cost of… wait for it… wait for it… free! All I can say is how do I make this my default browser over Safari?! There has to be a jailbreak that allows me to set that…

Try it for yourself by picking up a copy of the Mercury Web Browser in the App Store.

Mercury Web Browser was bought at author ‘s expense and reviewed on Just Another iPhone Blog. For further information regarding our site ‘s review policies, please see the ‘About ‘ page.

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