Just before Christmas we spent some time playing around with the beta version of Dolphin Browser Mini; a slimmed down, sped-up version of the gesture-driven browser we fell in love with almost a year ago.
Version 1.0 has just beached itself on the shores of the Android Market, where you can download it for nowt.
Like the beta version, the main emphasis is on speed. Dolphin Browser Mini quickly loads and rendering image-heavy web pages (like this site) over 3G and Wi-Fi.
One new addition we really liked is the customisable Flash settings. Going into the Toolbox (press the Menu key) > Settings in Dolphin Mini takes you to the Enable plug-ins drop down. Here you can opt to have Flash ‘on demand’, ‘always on’ or permanently ‘off’.
So if you’re trying to load a page over a feeble GPRS connection, you can turn Flash off. This way you don’t end up draining your battery by loading a Flash ad. Nice.
Of course, Dolphin Browser Mini retains the gesture features of previous versions, but if you don’t want to use them or create your own you don’t have to. It’s a pretty capable browser in it’s own right.
The gestures come into play when you want to perform a browser action like back, forward, refresh, etc. You tap in the bottom left corner of your screen to bring up a grey layer, onto which you can make Swype-esque gestures with your finger – left and right arrow shapes for back and forwards respectively, and a capital ‘C’ shape for refresh. As always, you’re free to create your own gestury-goodness if you wish.