Life Browser for iPad Swipes Through Websites Like a Book

| Quick Look Review

Imagine being able to swipe through your favorite websites on your iPad the same way you swipe through pages in iBooks. That’s what Life Browser for iPad does — and more.

Life Browser from It’s About Time Products, LLC is a web browser for your iPad that offers a nice twist: rather than exploding and imploding the various pages on file with Safari, Life Browser remembers your favorite pages like the pages of a book. You can use several techniques to page through your collection.

Life Browser

Life Browser Info Page (Default, Page #1)

If you have sliders on a page that are sensitive to left and right motion, you can click the “Full Screen” button at the bottom to lock the screen. It also provides for a larger display.

The default page, shown above, has an introductory video plus callouts for all the major functions. The key here is simplicity. Why have a simple paging metaphor then load up the app with lots of confusing options? The developer calls that one right.

It’s easy to add a website with the plus key at the bottom and easy to move back and forth — if you don’t want to swipe. Just touch the screen edge. There are also labelled buttons at the bottom. Because Life Browser can guess where you may go next, it pre-loads pages to the right and to the left. That way, they’re ready when you are.

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Sample Page (touch the edge, white bar, to ‘page” through your favorite sites)

Life Browser introduces the concept of a queue (“Q”) behind each web page. If you activate the queue, pages are loaded like a stack of playing cards behind each main page. These are remembered for offline viewing. You can cycle around to these items with the up/down “Q” keys at the top or delete one with the “X” button.

In the style of Safari, if you want to e-mail a link to a page, it’s easy and even more intuitive that Safari: there’s a small compose icon at the top. A small bug was noted in that if your contacts list is long, the composition page will scroll off the top of the popover. Just swipe down to bring it back. Version 1.1, due in a few days, should fix that.

If you have a lot of web pages that you visit frequently, Life Browser is very handy for keeping them all set up like pages of a book. That’s the notable thing about this app. Queued pages are also a major feature.

During testing, I found that, in some cases, links that worked fine in Safari wouldn’t activate in Life Browser. The developer is looking into this. Also, because Life Browser is doing some page loading in the background, it can sometimes seem not as responsive as Safari. But then you don’t have the exploding and imploding pages of Safari.

Summary

We wouldn’t want to live without Safari on our iPad, but Life Browser is a good choice if you really love the idea of having a bunch of favorite web pages set up like a book. It’s simple, elegant, and has a great UI.

Life Browser for iPad requires iOS 3.2 or later and is priced at US$1.99.

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