[iPhone] Looking for a new free web browser? Try Maxthon!

With the overload of popular web browsers on the App Market, a developer really needs to put out a quality product to fit in. Maxthon Web Browser might be fast and reliable enough to do just that.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Maxthon Web Browser is a free web browser for your iPhone. It allows you to search the web at your leisure and provides a bunch of features that users will appreciate.

Pros

  • Fast and reliable
  • iCloud sync of bookmarks/favorites
  • Tab browsing; automatic tab hiding
  • Keeps track of history
  • Download manager
  • Reader mode for surfing ad-free
  • Private browsing mode
  • Speed dial like ‘Home’ page
  • Multiple embedded search engines
  • Can turn cookies on/off
  • Ability to clear browsing data
  • Quick sharing of a link by email/SMS

Cons

  • No complete full screen mode
  • No sharing to social networks
  • No pop-up or ad blocker
  • No option to save passwords
  • No gestures
  • No syncing features outside of Maxthon (i.e. Firefox)

Discussion

Maxthon is a new (and free) web browser that is out to compete with the likes of Chrome and Dolphin in quite a competitive genre. This fast and reliable app has a user-friendly interface that supports full tabbed browsing. When you actually go to visit a Web page by clicking a link or entering one manually into the address bar, the tabs automatically hide. This creates a mostly full screen for the user to browse at their leisure.

Maxthon includes a nicely designed ‘Home’ tab as its default page. It includes a speed dial like interface with links to your favorite websites that you can add manually. The app takes the web site’s favicon to use as the picture on each icon. There is also a search engine above the speed dial which supports the use of Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask. It reveals possible search entries as you type.

Maxthon also supports many of the basic features that many apps in the genre do, such as control over browsing data, including the very popular private browsing mode that doesn’t record data while you are looking at web sites. The app also provides an intriguing reader mode for users who don’t want to be bothered with website ads and typical distractions. It simply allows you to read just the text articles on a page.

Though Maxthon seems quite impressive, there are some limitations to its features. There doesn’t seem to be any type of ad or pop-up blocker present, which many users would appreciate given the glut of visual distractions on web sites. It also does not support an option to save passwords, which would be quite handy for the regular user. I thought it was interesting that sharing to social networks or even third parties like Pocket was not included in the app, despite being able to email/SMS links.

Conclusion and download link

Maxthon Web Browser is indeed a fast and reliable app, possessing a good blend of nice features and user-friendly interface. With some time and a few added features, it could be just as good as the top apps in its genre. Hopefully the developers are working on some type of add or pop-up blocker, as well as a password saving tool. Both features would move this handy app closer to the best of the free browsers.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 1.0

Download size: 2.8 MB

Requires: iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad; iOS 4.3 and up

Maxthon Web Browser on iTunes

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