Today I want to take a look at iCab Mobile, one of the most powerful browsers available for iOS. I tend to think of iCab Mobile as the Swiss Army knife of web browsers. And iCab Mobile is the really fat Swiss Army knife, not the thin one.
While iCab Mobile does pretty much everything your standard iOS web browser can, its probably best to review iCab Mobile in terms of its other powerful features:
- Today widget. A short while back, I looked at some of the best iPhone widgets for travelers. iCab Mobile makes the list because it enables you to save multiple web pages to be viewed later offline in the Today view of your iPhone or iPad, even if your device is locked. There are many occasions in a travel context where it is useful to save the whole or part of a web page that you want easy access to at a later time. iCab Mobile’s Today view widget is perfect for this use.
- Save pages. Save web pages into the iCab Mobile internal browser downloads folder. You can also download files from the Internet in iCab Mobile including videos (from some websites). For any compressed ZIP formatted files that you download, they can be unzipped and managed right inside the app.
- Upload files. You can upload a file to the Internet, even where there is only an ‘upload’ button on relevant the web page you need to send them to. For example, I once needed to upload my ID to a web page as a part of a verification procedure for a prepaid credit card. iCab Mobile was the only app able to handle that specific workflow. Likewise, I’ve found with other unique workflows, iCab mobile has been one of the few browsers to handle the job properly.
- Save screenshots. Save screenshots into downloads, Photos, or Clipboard. Capture a partial or whole web page at either standard or Retina resolution. Save in JPG or PNG format.
- Fill out and save forms.
- Scan QR codes.
- Create custom search engines. If you have a website that you search a lot like a localised version of eBay or Amazon.com, you can create a search engine just for that website.
- Add to Reading List. Save pages to read offline, including adding to the Safari Reading List.
- Private browsing. iCab Mobile offers enormous customisability in terms of what can be made private inside the app or deleted to maintain your privacy. That includes cookies, forms, passwords, history, caches, and much more. You can configure the browser so that nothing is saved (Private mode) or you can specify the types of content you want deleted ‘x’ minutes after you close the app.
- Modules. iCab Mobile browser includes a few dozen inbuilt ‘modules’ to perform powerful custom actions. These modules can perform tasks like searching for the Google cache of a web page; creating a PDF from a web page; changing the default text size in the browser; sending content to popular social media websites; Google translation; sending content to services like Evernote, Instapaper, Pocket; find all of the web pages that link to a page; add to Amazon Wishlist; search price history of an item on CamelCamelCamel; calculator; Google Maps integration; convert page to ePub; send task to OmniFocus; display just the images on a webpage; read a webpage aloud; and more.
- Alternative search engines. There’s 25+ built in search engines covering everything from DuckDuckGo or Wolfram Alfa, to IMDB, Wikipedia, and more.
- Drawing gestures. Draw a gesture on your mobile device screen with your finger that can have iCab Mobile automatically perform an action. These include a range of tasks from opening or navigating a web page, to automatically sending a webpage screenshot to Dropbox. iCab Mobile includes a few dozen inbuilt gestures.
- Integration. iCab Mobile has good integration with services like Dropbox, iCloud, LastPass, Apple Watch and more.
- Guest Mode. Allow someone else to use iCab Mobile in a separate browser without giving them access to all of your browser customisations.
- Multi-user support. Each user can have their own custom bookmarks, filters, and settings.
- Twin browser. Have two iCab Mobile browsers running side-by-side on an iPad.
- Filtering. Block ads and other page elements.
In all, iCab Mobile is no ordinary browser. It’s packed with unique, powerful features that helps you easily perform tasks you might otherwise need a desktop browser for. iCab Mobile is a workhorse that’s perfect for those traveling #iPadOnly, wanting to work from their smartphone or tablet, and those that want to interact with content on the web, not just surf it.
As a traveler, iCab Mobile isn’t my default web browser. However, it is my go-to browser when I need a power-tool, or to do something the other iOS browsers can’t. Best of all, iCab Mobile has a very enthusiastic developer that is responsive to feedback or requests and regularly updates the app. As a paid for app – even in a category that boasts many alternatives – iCab Mobile is still well worth the price of admission.
iCab Mobile $1.99 – Download here.