If you have a hard time viewing web pages on your iPhone or iPod Touch because the screen is too small then you might want to check out the Full Screen Browser app. Full Screen Browser, created by Oliver Drobnik, increases your iPhone’s web display over Safari by 20% in portrait mode and 40% in landscape mode. How does it do it? Well, it conveniently hides the standard Safari menus found at the top and bottom of the browser window. The standard URL, search, bookmark, and navigation menus still exist, they’re just tucked out of view. You can invoke them at any time with a simple tap on the bottom right-hand corner of the touchscreen.
Aside from its significantly larger display, using Full Screen Browser is no different than Safari or any other iPhone app browser. As you’d expect you can set it to open to your favorite homepage, Google search, email links, save bookmarks, etc. It also includes a few unique options like switching pages to display the mobile version, a “What Time Is It?” pop up that tells you the current time, a translate page button that converts the current page language to a language of your choice (you can choose between English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, French, and Nederlands), and an Open in Safari button launches the web-page you’re currently viewing in a new Safari window.
Key Features of Full Screen Browser:
Overall, I found Full Screen Browser’s larger display to be helpful, unfortunately the other aspects and features of the app left little to be desired. In my opinion, Full Screen browser falls short of Safari in multiple critical areas such as speed, stability, presentment, and features. Excluding mobile formatted pages, I found Full Screen Browser to be much slower than Safari. A few times it got hung up while rendering a page, and on more than one occasion the app crashed and closed out. Regarding presentment, the display appeared to be slightly off and noticeably less crisp than Safari (ex. the Google search box has a crooked line at the top). I also had a couple instances where the translate feature didn’t work properly. One instance it looked like an in-app error, the second instance appeared to be a Google Translate error. Combine those things with the inability to open multiple web page sessions, and the inability to save more than 5 bookmarks and you’ve got some pretty compelling reasons as to why you may not elect to use Full Screen Browser as your primary iPhone browser.
All that being said, the fact remains that Full Screen Browser does provide you with a significantly larger viewing area (up to 40% more in landscape mode), meaning that if you’re rocking the coke bottle glasses, an old school monocle, or just have a hard time reading the tiny font on your iPhone or iPod Touch using Safari, you’ll probably see great value in having the larger display.
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