iCab is the love child of Alexander Clauss, a browser that’s built around the same advanced WebKit underpinnings as Apple’s Safari. At the same time, iCab comes in flavors for PPC OS X, as well as Mac OS Classic, including Motorola 68K Macs, making it the only browser still in active development for Apple’s long lapsed operating system.
The most interesting development recently from Clauss is a decidedly cutting edge endeavor, iCab Mobile 1.0, a $1.99 browser designed to not just run on Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch but to push envelope in terms of features and performance.
iCab Mobile has features that are both unique and immediately available. That is, this browser supports full screen mode, easy preferences access, one touch search and a “tabbed” interface that’s user customizable. For example, whereas Safari’s features are buried inside Settings, well outside the browser itself, iCab’s controls are right up front and easily accessible from within the app—brilliant.
Also, iCab’s full-screen mode is easy to invoke and just a little shake (ie motion sensor aware) brings you back to normal viewing mode, with the browser’s tools right where they’re useful.
Another thoughtful touch is the choice of Google and Yahoo, but also Lycos, Wikipedia and eBay as your default search engines compared to Safari’s offering of just the big two.
And, private browsing (aka porn) mode? It’s easily accessed and invoked via iCab’s preferences—it will keep your browsing history clear of the diamond ring you want to buy your honey or any untoward references to Miss May. Further, the preferences screen gives you easy access to “Delete Cookies” and “Delete History” buttons, which are things that Safari makes you dig for in Settings.
Lastly, and this is a real time saver, iCab Mobile includes form auto completion, which makes logging in to wi-fi access points or your favorite web forum as easy as it would be on your Mac.
As of now, iCab Mobile is my browser of choice on my iPod touch and for $1.99 it could be yours, too. Honestly, I daily spend more on coffee and chocolate that doesn’t make me feel anywhere near as good.