Those who miss the tabbed browsing experience on a computer should give a serious look to the Atomic Web Browser for the iPad.
The iPad browser opens new links in tabs, just as you would on a desktop version. One of its strongest features is that maneuvering through the pages and tabs can be accomplished through a series of finger swipes. For example, a two-finger swipe switches tabs. A three-finger tap enters and exits full-screen mode. Swiping up with two fingers sends you back to the home page and swiping down deletes the current tab. These can all be customized or attached to different commands to tailor the browser to your needs.
These are especially handy when browsing in full-screen mode. This option removes the address bar entirely and leaves only small icons in the corners for navigating, viewing all open tabs or returning to the traditional view.
The settings menu offers a ton of additional tweaks. The default search engine can be changed to any number of choices; in Safari you are limited to Google, Bing or Yahoo. There is also an ad blocking feature for killing those annoying advertisements. You can also change how the browser identifies itself to web sites, which will on some sites allow you to see the full version instead of the mobile one (sorry, Google Docs editing still doesn’t work). One disadvantage though to identifying it as a full browser is that some sites optimized for the iPad with HTML5 don’t work as well; especially since the Flash videos won’t play.
If you still plan to use Safari sometimes there is an option for adding a bookmarklet which will bookmark a site into Atomic Web Browser. It takes a few steps to install the bookmarklet in Safari but there are very clear instructions.
Tapping and holding a link brings up several options: either opening the site in the current tab, a new tab, copies it or in a background tab (this opens it but keeps you on the current page).
Atomic Web Browser is not without some occasional crashes when about several tabs were open. An option allows for a pop-up to warn you when the memory is getting low. This could be handy if you are in the habit of opening tons of tabs.
In all the browsing experience is solid and very fast with some welcome features not found in Safari. Atomic Web Browser is a universal app, so a purchase on the iPad means you can also download the iPhone version if you want to try out tabbed browsing on the smaller screen.