Finally! Tabbed Browsing Comes to the iPhone

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The iPhone finally says hello to tabs.

    The iPhone can't quite multitask yet, but tabbed browsing has just arrived, and it's free. The iDroid Mini Browser lets you load up four tabs with your favorite websites, and jump between the four with ease. We installed the application on an iPhone, and found it to be a usable, but not yet full-featured browser.

    When you first open the app, you're presented with an attractive Quick Links screen, where you can place nine sites. There's also a separate Bookmarks menu that's not connected to that Quick Links screen. It's slightly inconvenient to load up the Quick Links screen, requiring you to type in http:// every time. Weird. But to add bookmarks is easily done with a couple of taps. We wish the Quick Links screen showed the saved bookmarks.

    The presence of its version 1.0 flaws doesn't mean this is a bad browser. The IDroid Mini is nowhere near as graceful or capable as Chrome or Firefox on the desktop, but even with just four available tabs, it's a breakthrough. Just like any tabbed browser, you can jump instantly from one tab to the other, and there's even a tab preview that reminds us of Windows 7.

    So it is possible to have a tabbed browser on the iPhone. It almost feels like multitasking. This could have implications for the iPad, and might even foreshadow what Apple plans to do with its next version of mobile Safari. Apple, we're wondering why you haven't done this yet with mobile Safari. The fact that Apple wasn't the first to have a tabbed browser on its own iPhone OS is just downright lame.