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Mobile Apps

Cooliris for iPhone

If you want your web with an extra whack of wow-factor you can't go past Cooliris.

The iPhone Safari browser has to be on the top three mobile web browsers available today; it's fast and it renders full-size pages perfectly. Still, if you want your web with an extra whack of wow-factor you can't go past Cooliris.

A search for "cnet" on Cooliris (Screenshot by CNET Australia)

Some of you may already be familiar with the Cooliris add-on for FireFox, IE and Safari desktop browsers. In short, Cooliris searches image sites, like Google Images or Flickr, and returns results to your search in rows of images in a faux 3D space. You can scroll along the rows of images with a finger-swipe or by tilting the iPhone and letting the accelerometer do the rest. Once you find an image you want to know more about, you can select it to zoom in, or click the link to be taken to the original web page without leaving the app.

Ultimately, this will sound like just another way to browse the same boring internet, but the beauty of Cooliris is in the speed it renders the pictures. The images render almost as quickly as you can scroll to them (we did see a noticeable difference in performance using a 3GS handset) and zooming in and out of a photo is as smooth as you'd expect it to be on the iPhone.

As well as being able to search a preset number of image sites, Cooliris can also display the photos saved on your iPhone in this sexy screen space, search YouTube for videos and collect info from your favourite RSS feeds too. Depending on the kind of information you're looking for, Cooliris may not be the most efficient way to browse your bookmarks, but viewing the internet visually is a fascinating new perspective on an activity most of us do for hours each day.

If you want to test out Cooliris you can grab it from the applications section on iTunes. If you use a compatible desktop web browser, you can install the add-on from the Cooliris website.