New browsing apps available for the iPhone

The App Store is now open to a number of Safari-based Web-browsing applications, previously deemed by Apple to be "duplicating functionality."

We're guessing that they won't surpass iBeer in popularity any time soon, but this is big news for the App Store: Apple has quietly started allowing Web browser applications in.

According to MacRumors, a small bunch of browser apps were recently let into the App Store. They include the free Edge Browser, the historyless Incognito ($1.99), the tabbed WebMate ($0.99), and something called Shaking Web ($1.99) that attempts to make Web sites easier to read.

Previously, Apple had not approved third-party browsers for the App Store; its own Safari browser is preinstalled on the iPhone. Other browsers weren't allowed, citing "duplicating functionality."

The browser apps currently in the App Store all have some kind of quirk that sets them apart from standard browsers, ranging from a slant in design (Edge) to one in privacy (Incognito). They're all built using Safari as a base too. So it's not yet clear whether Apple will open the gates to iPhone versions of completely separate third-party browsers, such as Firefox or Opera.

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