Atomic Web: the Best Web Browser for the iPad

by Bakari Chavanu May 21, 2010

I use several different web browsing apps, including Safari on my iPad and iPhone, but the one that shines above them all is Atomic Web. Within the first five minutes of using it, you will wish that it could be the default browser for your Apple mobile device.

First off with Atomic Web (iTunes Store link) you actually get real tab browsing. Traditional tabs in a web browser should’t be a big deal, but since Apple has for some odd reason never made them a part of Safari for its mobile devices, they are pleasantly welcome in Atomic Web. You can create and navigate tabs in this application just as you would in any desktop web browser. It simply boggles my mind why Apple hasn’t included this feature. Pages, including tabs opened in the background, open just as fast, or even faster in Atomic Web as they do in Safari.

Atomic Web's navigation features go even further by making use of finger gestures—a feature completely absent from Safari. When short gestures are enabled, you have options to swipe with two fingers to reload a web page, swipe between taps or between pages in tabbed window. You can also swipe to close tabs. The MultiTouch options are customizable so that you set preferences for the type of options you use the most.

And get this: when you select and hold your finger on a link or image, it gives you right-click like options to open links in a new tab or in the background or to copy a link—just as you would do with the desktop version of Safari! Seriously, why didn't Apple include the simple feature!

I hate to sound like a commercial, but the awesome features of Atomic Web don't stop with tabbing and finger gestures. Like Safari, you can bookmark pages, manage them in folders, and email URLs. But with Atomic Web, you can also save web pages, open them in Safari (not sure why you would want to) and post links to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Being able to save pages is great for iPad users who don't have 3G access.

Atomic Web comes with some other goodies, including private mode, increasing and decreasing font sizes of a web page, and setting up a bookmarklet that allows you to re-open downloaded pages in Safari into Atomic Web. And if you want to keep your browser from being accessed by others, you can simply pass code it.

This $2.99 app is worth every penny, though it's a shame it can't be set as the default web browser for the iPad or Apple's other two mobile devices.

I guess if the developers of Atomic Web could add a dual browser feature to its app, it would put this browser over the top. But this is not a mark against it, because if you do a lot of web browsing on your iPad, Atomic Web is simply a huge time saver. It puts Safari to shame.


  • Super super powerful browser… On Safari- if you touch and hold a link you it gives you a pop-up of options, not sure if you knew this.

    What is also great is that on Atomic you can change the browser identity to something other than Safari iPad which lets you use MobileMe and non-iPad versions of other sites. For example- directs you to download the MLB iPad app. I already own him but I, let’s say, want to watch some videos on the site, so I change the browser ID atomic sends and BAM! Emmeril can see those videos now.

    I think the reason that Safari is so simplistic falls in line with the whole Apple strategy. Make great products that our mothers and grandmothers can use, as well as our 4 y.o. daughters or nieces. Atomic fills the gap for hard-core users. I would easily pay $10 for this app, especially since I believe it will continue to receive excellent dev support and continue to evolve.

    Great recommendation and write up.

    Turleymuller had this to say on May 27, 2010 Posts: 2
  • Turleymuller, yeah I had forgotten about the pop-up option in Safari. But even that option doesn’t compare with Atomic Web’s options. It’s almost embarrassing to compare the two.

    And I agree somewhat that Apple tries to keep its apps simple for a wide range of users. But in this case, most Mac users are probably very familiar with tabbing in the desktop version of Safari, so it only makes sense to bring that same feature and user interface to the mobile app versions.

    RayCon, there are many apps that duplicate the function of Apple‘s programs, so I think Apple really has to be flexible enough to allow third-party developers to produce programs that are going enhance the mobile devices; otherwise, advance Mac users are simply going to get frustrated by the lack of features that should exist to make the devices more productive.

    Bakari Chavanu had this to say on May 27, 2010 Posts: 47
  • After searching for some decent information about this iPad app, I found your site.  Great article! You answered my questions and gave me the information I was searching for.  I love my iPad but I really hated the way the Safari browser functioned.  What a pain having all those different windows opening and closing!  I do a lot of research and now it will be much easier having my trusty ole tabs back. Now all I need is to be able to print to my wi-fi printer and my iPad will be complete.

    Keep up the great reviews, I will be back to read more.

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  • My personal opinion. I’ve tried several, and so far it has been faster and more stable. I’ve even been able to log into https sites with which I have not been able to do with Safari, Atomic, or any other popular browsers and highly valued. Unless they do something to screw it up, ill be using this for a long time. Washing Machines

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  • You have great reviews on atomic browser! Perhaps I ought to think about trying this myself. I’ve been using DUO browser but sometimes page won’t load. Best Backup Software

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