Android

Top 5 Dolphin Browser add-ons for the most productive, efficient experience

The Dolphin Browser is already one of the more effective means of viewing web pages on the Android platform. Jack Wallen suggests five add-ons to make it even more alluring to power users.

Dolphin web browser

The Dolphin Browser for Android is filled with configurability and raw power. Outside of speed and reliability, one of the best features it has is the add ons, some of which are must-haves for power users. If you're constantly on the go and need an efficient, powerful browser at your fingertips, you need the Dolphin Browser with its many plugins.

Which add-ons are the best for users needing power and efficiency? I've sifted through the available options and came up with my list of the top five. Read on and install them all from the Google Play Store.

1. Dolphin: Morning Coffee

This has long been one of my favorite browser add-ons. With a single tap, you can open all the sites you visit first thing in the morning (each site opening in its own tab). Once you've installed the app, you can access it from either the home screen or from within the Dolphin Browser. Here's how:

  1. Open Dolphin
  2. From the main window, tap the bottom center icon
  3. Swipe the popup to the left
  4. Tap the Morning Coffee button (Figure A)

Figure A

Figure A

The Morning Coffee button.

From within the Dolphin Browser, you can't remove sites from the Morning Coffee add-on. To really manage your Morning Coffee sites, open the add-on from the home screen or the app drawer (you'll find a Morning Coffee launcher) and add/remove sites there (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B

The Morning Coffee main window.

To delete a site, long press one of the existing pages and tap Delete item. The only caveat to the Dolphin Browser edition of Morning Coffee is that you're limited to only four sites. Hopefully the developers will listen to the reviews and enable more sites (I don't know anyone who visits four or less sites during their morning ritual).

2. Web to PDF

This add-on offers a single feature, but it's a must-have for many users. Just like the name implies, this add-on allows you to convert a web page to PDF so that you can access it (or share it) any time. Just follow these steps:

  1. Install Web to PDF
  2. Visit a site to be converted
  3. Tap the center icon (two vertical dotted lines)
  4. Swipe the popup to the left
  5. Tap Web to PDF (Figure C)
  6. Give the page a name
  7. Tap Save

Figure C

Figure C

Saving a web page as a PDF.

The PDFs created aren't always perfect (graphics-heavy pages can be problematic, while text-centric pages tend to be spot on), but they're always usable.

3. Dolphin Jetpack

If you're looking for up to 10X the usual browsing speeds of Dolphin (which is already one of the fastest mobile browsers available), then you need Jetpack. Jetpack does things like:

  • Optimize JavaScript
  • Autofit pages
  • Replaces the HTML 5 engine with a faster, more optimized version

But why an add-on? Why not just bake the add-on into the standard browser? Simple — battery life. The faster rendering engine comes at the expense of the battery. The good thing is you can switch Jetpack on and off. So, if you're looking for super-charged browsing, turn it on. If you need to save your battery, turn Jetpack off.

Once it's installed, you can enable/disable Jetpack with the following steps:

  1. Open the Dolphin Browser
  2. Swipe from the left edge of the screen
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Tap the Dolphin Jetpack entry to disable (Figure D)
  5. Tap Sure! when prompted to restart the browser

Figure D

Figure D

You can easily enable and disable Jetpack.

Does Dolphin Jetpack really speed up the browsing experience? Yes...without a doubt. In fact the browsing is noticeably much faster with Jetpack. A must have.

4. Dolphin: Dropbox Add-on

If you depend on Dropbox to supplement your cloud storage on your Android phone, you'll want this handy Dropbox add-on for Dolphin. With this tool, you can enable the auto upload of all downloads to your Dropbox account.

Once it's installed, you simply open the add-on, log into your Dropbox account, and then (when you go to download you first file) enable the auto upload to Dropbox (Figure E).

Figure E

Figure E

Enabling auto uploads with the Dolphin: Dropbox Add-on.

When you log in to this app, it will automatically create a new folder in your Dropbox account. This new folder is called Dolphin Browser, and it's where all uploaded files will go. Note: This app does give read/write access to the Dolphin Browser folder within your Dropbox account.

5. Dolphin Reader

If you need your web pages free of ads and other distractions, you can enjoy a text-only experience with this handy add-on. Once it's installed, to view a page with text-only, do the following:

  1. Open the Dolphin Browser
  2. Go to the page you want to view
  3. Tap the bottom center icon (two rows of horizontal dots)
  4. Swipe the pop-up to the left
  5. Tap the Dolphin Reader button
  6. Enjoy the text-only page (Figure F)

Figure F

Figure F

One of my recent open-source blog posts through the eyes of Dolphin Reader.

The Dolphin Browser is a powerful mobile tool, made even more powerful with the help of these handy add-ons. If you're a user who demands an incredibly efficient experience, give these add-ons a try.

What do you think? Are these add-ons exactly what you needed? Or is the whole idea of having to install add-ons to a browser a bit counterintuitive to be productive?

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About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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