Safari on the iPad is a pretty decent browser. Certainly, it does take some getting used to the iPad interface in general, but once that’s accomplished Safari is pretty much tamed. So is there really a reason to give the Skyfire browser a try when Safari already performs the job admirably?
From the video, I can find a myriad of things that Skyfire includes that Safari doesn’t by installation.
Firstly, full-screen browsing is key. The iPad already has quite a small screen size, and I can definitely appreciate a full-screen experience. The thing is the full-screen immerses you in the reading, and if it’s mostly text then it looks just like an ebook and is much less distracting than a regular browser window.
Integrated social networking is a key part of Skyfire, in hopes of “making it more fun, connected, and most of all – effective.” The Skyfire browser includes their development called Quickview, which allows for a brief glance at Facebook Wall, Twitter updates, Google Reader, and more. I do like this integration a lot, as it does save me from having to launch a bunch of individual applications to do these tasks. This feature mainly saves on the time spent on daily activities.
Applications like Facebook and Twitter (and potentially a third party Google Reader application) have a lot more extensive use than just for checking walls and briefly interacting with them, so Skyfire doesn’t entirely remove the use for them. Instead, it just offers more convenience, which is much appreciated in comparison to Safari’s lack thereof.
A couple of other features in Skyfire called Fireplace and Popular respectively expands on the sharing of links via Facebook, and allows you to see what’s popular on that site via Facebook.
There is also a Universal Like and enhanced sharing features. These truly expand the social aspect of browsing that Safari doesn’t allow for.
Lastly, Skyfire enables Flash on the iPad by downloading the file to its own server and reformatting in a file appropriate for the iPad. This last function is key, because it allows for Youtube views in browser, as well as potentially allowing games to be played. Hello, Tower Defense.
If you’re looking for a more social browsing experience on your iPad, Skyfire is definitely the application for you.