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Maxthon mobile Web browser surfs to the iPhone

A free iOS app, Maxthon is now available on the iPhone as well as the iPad.

Maxthon's new mobile browser for the iPhone
Maxthon's new mobile browser for the iPhone
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

iPhone users now have yet another choice for a mobile browser.

Maxthon has finally made its debut for Apple's iPhone. As of today, the new version of the mobile browser is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, 4, and 4S, and with the iPod Touch 3G and 4G.

A dedicated iPad app has been around for a while. Maxthon also provides desktop clients for Windows and the Mac, as well as mobile versions for Android phones and tablets.

Like its big brother iPad edition, the iPhone flavor offers several features not found in Mobile Safari.

Maxthon starts off with a home page filled with thumbnails of popular Web sites, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon. So you can easily launch a site with just a single tap. You can customize the home page by adding and removing Web sites of your own choosing or select among those from a list provided by Maxthon.

Tabbed browsing is another top feature. You can easily open Web pages in new tabs and then quickly switch among them. You can create a Favorites list to store often-used Web sites. And you can then sync those sites to the cloud so they're accessible on any device where you use a Maxthon browser.

The browser's smart address bar save you time and keystrokes when entering a URL. Just type the first few characters, and Maxthon presents a list of auto-complete guesses from your Favorites, history, and the default search engine.

Another handy feature is Reader mode. This lets you open a Web page in a more readable ad-free format. If you find a page supported by this mode, such as an online article, a book icon appears at the bottom. Just tap that icon to switch the page into Reader mode.

Also included is a dedicated Download Manager that can organize the items you download.

You can turn on a private browser mode so that your Web surfing activities aren't saved. And you can share any Web page through e-mail or instant messaging.

One minor quibble: I'd like to see the iPhone edition get the same gesture support included in the iPad edition. But I guess Maxthon has to save something for version 2.0.

Overall, Maxthon is a well-designed and feature-packed mobile browser. iPhone users should give it a whirl.