Portal for iPhoneSafari for iOS is good. Very good, even! But you might want an alternative—an extremely sexy alternative. But useful, too! Like a Hooters waitress who also teaches physics! And is a web browser.

Portal for iPhone

What is it?

Portal, iPhone, $2. A fullscreen web browser with an expanding radial menu.

Who's it good for?

Aesthetes. You want pretty? Portal is very pretty. Smooth menus, tasteful transitions. But it's not just a gorgeous face—the minimalist menu system puts all of your commands (reload, forward, back, search, etc.) into a compact dot. Just hold it down, and it expands only so much as is necessary. Anyone wishing they had more iPhone browsing space will be pleased with the unobscured view.

Why's it better than alternatives?

The alternatives are, for the most part, crap. Most non-Safari iOS browsers are alternatives for the mere sake of being alternatives. They don't have much in the way of allure. Sure, Portal is another browser, and it does pretty much exactly what Safari does—let you view websites on your phone. True. But the radial menu—which just sounds like a gimmick—is executed quite well. Add that to a bounty of visual flourishes (including the extremely awesome crosshair that locks onto in-page search queries), a bevy of search engines, stability, and speed.

How could it be even better?

It's a little buggy (I got stuck in the find mode). Most importantly, the hierarchical ordering of the radial menu could use a little shuffling. High priority browser buttons (like reload) should be closer to the center than, say "browser actions" or tab management. As well, because of its extra features (multiple profiles, a "research mode" that highlights flagged topics), it isn't the lean and mean app that Safari is.

Portal for iPhonePortal, iPhone | iTunes

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