3rd Party Web Browsers For iPhone

There’s some buzz around the web regarding 3rd party web browsers for the iPhone now appearing in the App Store. This really isn’t as good as it sounds. In fact, it’s misleading. From what I can tell they are all using WebKit (Safari) API’s. UIWebView to be specific. These are just applications that serve as an alternative UI for WebKit.

This isn’t even totally new as there are several apps that have done this in the past, the most popular being Twitterrific who ships a “mini-browser” for the purpose of viewing links in tweets without leaving the application. What’s new is that an application’s sole purpose can be a browser. Though there’s no official word on a policy that I know of.

That means no you will not see Java, you will not see Flash, you will not see Firefox. You may perhaps see some user experience improvements which of course are welcome, but not another “browser”.

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