For times when you have a weak signal, there's Instabrowser

Access the Web in your iPhone with greater speed with Instabrowser, a mobile browser that loads only the HTML of Web pages. July 30, 2013...



Access the Web in your iPhone with greater speed with Instabrowser, a mobile browser that loads only the HTML of Web pages.

Matt Elliott

July 30, 2013 11:51 AM PDT

Connection slow? Data usage approaching your monthly maximum? To load Web pages more quickly in your iPhone when you've got a bad signal or to lower your data usage, give Instabrowser a go. This $2.99 iPhone app loads just the HTML of an Web page -- stripping out all the JavaScript and CSS -- to create you your mobile content faster. There is also a free, ad-supported version in the app called Instabrowser Zero.

Instabrowser, to not be confused with InstaBrowser, is an excellent app for subway commuters and anyone who spends a portion of the day attempting to access Web pages having a poor signal. I found which it loads pages quicker than Chrome and Safari; the developer states Instabrowser can trim load times and data usage by 90 percent or higher.

(Credit: Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET)

Instabrowser offers a URL bar at the top with the screen along which has a Google search box. Along the bottom are buttons to bookmark pages, navigate forward and backward, load the complete version of the page, manage multiple tabs, tweak the settings, and show a table of contents.

In settings, you are able to change the font size and choose to load images together with text or text limited to even faster load time. You can also change Instabrowser's user agent, which can be set by default to Mobile Safari, to an alternative browser for example Firefox or IE or choose Safari (desktop) must Instabrowser to load the total version of a page in the event the mobile version is providing you with trouble. Deeper in settings, it is possible to tweak paragraph spacing and column padding as well as affect the theme (currently there are two, a light blue plus a dark red theme).

(Credit: Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET)

Tap the right-most button and Instabrowser will display a table of contents to get a page. It uses a Web page's header tags to provide a more orderly list of the headlines on the page, but it is not always available because some pages avoid such tags. When it's available, the table of contents makes it easier to get the relevant content with a page. In many cases, layout, design of an HTML-only page forces to you personally to scroll past large sections which can be poorly formatted.

(Credit: Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET)

If the table of contents isn't available to get a particular, try tapping the lighting button at the bottom of the screen. It displays the main version of a Web page, which can be useful for pages which need JavaScript to load properly.

(Credit: Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET)

You'll should be agreeable to sometimes encountering a webpage that's a jumbled mess, but Instabrowser does provide a speed advantage. I'm a Cincinnati Reds fan and fell asleep last night prior to completion of their game for the West Coast up against the Padres, so I wakened and grabbed my iPhone to determine the score. (Note: My iPhone 4S don't connects to Wi-Fi, so I conducted these test using a cell signal.) Loading top page of ESPN via Safari and opening a webpage via the MLB app took roughly 17 seconds each. By comparison, I entered looking term in Instabrowser's Google search box and I discovered the Reds lost a heart-breaker on a walk-off home run in the bottom in the ninth in less than 5 seconds. Advantage: Instabrowser (and Chris Denorfia along with the Padres).

I also tried Instabrowser yesterday inside a part of town where I'm on Verizon's extended network. Unfortunately, I found that Instabrowser had about as much trouble loading a website as Safari and the Google search app.

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