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Tabulate brings smarter tabs to mobile Safari users

Make browsing on the iPhone and iPod touch just a little bit smarter.

There's no denying the mobile version of Safari found on the iPod and iPhone Touch offers an above-average browsing experience for a portable device. That said, the software is not without its shortcomings, and one of them is how it handles links found on various Web pages. Depending on how they've been coded by the author, links can be set to open up in a new window or tab, or simply in the same page. Usually you don't find this out until you click on them, which can be a juggle considering the device is only capable of keeping eight windows open at a time. On the desktop, using a mouse with multiple buttons lets you make your own decisions about how you want links to open, but there is no such luxury in the one-finger world of Safari.

To help give users a little more control in this situation, the folks at Inventive Labs have put together their own solution called Tabulate. It's simply a bookmarklet with some JavaScript that you can bookmark on your desktop browser, and sync up with the device when you plug it into iTunes. The next time you're browsing in Safari mobile, you just have to invoke it from your bookmarks list, and it'll work on any link on that browser tab.

The application works by giving you the option to open any given link in the same window or a new tab, like you'd find in the contextual menu on your desktop browser. There's also a third option to flag the link, which will set it up in a little queue in the corner of the screen. Clicking this will simply open up any saved links in new browser windows at the same time.

Considering Apple hasn't really opened up the mobile version of Safari for third-party developers to work with (yet), bookmarklets are a fairly simple way to add functionality without requiring any hacking or file manipulation. They're also dead easy to install, although it would be nice to simply be able to do it without needing a secondary computer in the first place. I can easily see something like StumbleUpon, or other social-bookmarking tools making their way to the platform using the same technology.

[via The Unofficial Apple Weblog]

Tweak Safari mobile to give you more control over how links open and operate with Tabulate from Inventive Labs.