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Sequoia-Backed Dolphin Brings Its Popular Browser To The iPhone

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One of Android’s biggest success stories so far has been the Dolphin Browser, a third-party browser that includes plenty of niceties that Android’s stock browser doesn’t: things like gestures, handy sidebars to access menus, user agent spoofing, and add-ons (which are basically extensions). Dolphin’s recently raised $10 million from top-tier VC Sequoia, and the app just passed 9 million total downloads.

And that’s just on Android. Today, the app is coming to the iPhone. It went live late last night, and you can download it right here.

As with other browsers on the iPhone, Dolphin uses the core Safari renderer to display content (in other words, Dolphin hasn’t built a new browser from the ground up — it’s adding a new layer of features on top of Apple’s browser). But it does bring some handy features, including multiple tab support, easy sharing to Facebook and Twitter, its sidebar shortcuts, and Webzine, a Flipboard-esque way to browse your favorite sites. Dolphin also says that this is the first browser on the iPhone to feature gestures: you can draw simple patterns to quickly jump to your favorite websites, or to access navigation options like ‘Back’ and your Bookmarks. They take a few minutes to get used to, but they’re quite handy.

One thing this app doesn’t have: the add-ons, which let Android users tweak their browsing experience with new features. Dolphin says this is because of a technical limitation with the iPhone, which doesn’t allow for native application add-ons. However, it does sound like JavaScript-based add-ons may be on the way.

Dolphin is far from the only third-party browser on the iPhone — competitors include Opera, iLegendSoft’s Mercury Web Browser, and SkyFire. I’m curious to see if Dolphin will be able to get the same kind of traction here as it has on Android; it’s a bit late to the game on iOS (though this is still early days for the platform), and Apple doesn’t give developers as much flexibility to differentiate their browsers as they have on Android.