Mobile Safari’s method of handling multiple pages groks well with the iPhone’s small touchscreen, but on the iPad, it seems slow and cumbersome when there’s plenty of real estate for desktop Safari’s standard method of navigating between open websites: tabs.
But Atomic Web Browser’s advantages over Mobile Safari don’t end there. Atomic Web Browser boasts excellent full screen reading mode that minimizes navigational clutter, user agent switching, built-in Adblock, Facebook and Twitter integration, support for any search engine you care to throw at it (even site-specific search and find-on-page), rotation lock, offline page viewing, adjustable (and saveable!) fonts, bookmarks with folder support, automatic tab restoration, image block, a large library of bookmark scripts, source viewing, and the ability to assign your own multi-touch gestures. Wow.
The biggest issue, though, is that every time you close or re-open Atomic, it forcibly reloads all your open tabs. Even worse, your navigation history (forward and back buttons) resets. What this means is that Atomic can’t be used seamlessly: without saving the user state upon exit, no amount of functionality in the world can help it compete with Mobile Safari, which is always running and always remembers what you were doing when you exited.
These aren’t quibbles, but I hope these issues will be righted with time. As it is, this might be the most full-featured browser on iPhone OS. Do yourself a favor and at least try the lite version. Even if Atomic is unlikely to replace Mobile Safari as your go-to iPhone OS browser, there’s a lot here to recommend taking it for a spin.