Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dolphin Browser reaches v10, introduces a new UI and new features

Dolphin Browser, one of the most popular browsers available for Android reached version 10 today, and also introduced a refreshed UI that made certain functions easier and added new features.

As for the update, the official "what's new" list contains these updates:
  • New UI design
  • Web App Store: Easily add popular web apps to your home screen
  • Home screen now supports drag & drop grouping of speed dials into folders, with 60+ speed dial slots
  • Dolphin key: single swipe access to browser menu, tab list or Gesture/Sonar
  • Search directly within Amazon, Twitter, Wikipedia, eBay, Youtube, Twitter or Facebook from URL bar
  • Flash support can be re-enabled in settings
  • Themes & Night Mode have been updated for v10. Install the updated versions from Google Play
As for the actual UI update, I fired up the Android SDK to take some screenshots of the app from my phone, showing the UI.

Dolphin Browser Home Screen/New Tab page
Also featured in the update is the slight updates to the top area of the browser, such as the tab bar and address bar.
In Dolphin Browser v10, one of the first things you will notice is the new home screen. The old look of speed dial is gone, instead replaced with circles that contain a bookmarked site's favicon. In addition, the color of the outline of the circle can change to mimic the color of the favicon. This is what happened with my site's bookmark.

Also in the new home screen is scrolling horizontally. Previously if you had more bookmarks in the speed dial than could fit in your screen's dimensions, you would have a vertical scroll bar added so you can scroll through your speed dial.

A new folder has also been added to the home screen, called Most Visited. This folder does exact as it says it does and when tapped it opens a popup containing icons for most-visited websites. They look like speed dial options but in a folder. It wasn't pictured in the image above because I moved it to the next page of bookmarks, so click here to see what it looks like.

The Dolphin Key when you tap over it
Dolphin Browser v10 also introduces the new Dolphin Key. Previously it was a simple button that could be moved to the left or right of your screen, on the bottom. The Dolphin Key when pressed can now server 3 purposes: a new tab page, sonar/gesture entry, and the Dolphin menu options at the bottom. To choose an option, simply tap over the Dolphin Key and drag it to a menu option and let go. Your chosen action is then displayed. As for for the bottom menu, you can now access it without pressing the menu key on your device.

Dolphin Browser Gesture Screen
Dolphin Browser Sonar Screen
The Dolphin Sonar and Gesture screens also go a UI refresh. To toggle between the who functions, just tap the middle slider area the the bottom that displays gesture or sonar, depending on what you were on.

Dolphin Speed Dial showing the most visited folder and the new speed dial option
Adding new items to the speed dial/home screen did get a little tricky with this update. When you tap the new button, you don't get a menu to add a new item but instead you are taken to the new Dolphin Web Store go choose items to add to speed dial. At the top right you also have the option to manually add a speed dial like you could before in the previous version.
 Adding a new speed dial via the Dolphin Web Store
However if you don't have an internet connection when you want to add an item, you have to click the "plus" button on the URL bar, to the right of the home button. Tapping that gives you the option to add a page to the Android home screen, the Dolphin speed dial, or bookmarks.

That's pretty much it for the Dolphin Browser update. Let me know of your thoughts of the update in the comments below.