Indeed, I’m willing to say that Mac users today live in what I’ll describe as The Golden Age of browsers. We have plenty of fast, high quality, feature rich browsers from which to choose, which makes it all the more crazy that a blast from the past is back.
The Browser You Can’t Afford
The first browser to grace my Mac was Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, which Apple shipped as the default browser back in the day.
When Apple launched Safari, Microsoft said adios to the Mac browser scene (and plenty of us said, ‘Good riddance!’).
Fortunately, Safari was a capable and decent browser with had a good blend of page rendering speed and features.
I’m certain that Safari helps usher in The Golden Age of Mac browsers.
It wasn’t long before Mozilla’s Firefox debuted, then Google’s Chrome, yet Mac users also had Mozilla (later SeaMonkey), OmniWeb, Netscape, Flock, Camino, Opera, and others).
Way back in the last century there was iCab, which traced roots to Crystal Atari Browser (CAB), had a following of sorts, but seems to have disappeared from usage.
Until now. Yes, iCab, the browser that many once loved, most seldom used, and isn’t really affordable anyway, is back. Barely.
Truly, iCab is more of a labor of love than an attempt to enter The Golden Age of browsers as a viable contender.
iCab circa 2013 doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of making a comeback to any level of usage market share, but it’s an interesting look to the glory days of yesteryear.
It Costs How Much?
Like many older browsers, iCab has page after page of preference dialogs. There’s a cookie manager, a filter manager, bookmarks, autocomplete, browser window tabs, and customizable toolbar.
The filters can block images, prevent pop up windows, and block advertisements. The kiosk mode takes over the Mac’s whole screen, similar to fullscreen mode. Web pages can be archived. There’s also a neat link manager which displays a split window– web page on one side, embedded links on the other.
In other words, iCab does what most modern browsers do, but has a few tricks of its own for which you may find merit. The real question is why? Or, rather, why bother? iCab is nagware, a $20 shareware app in an age where most Mac browsers are free.
I checked the Mac360 logs today, and iCab was used three times to visit the site in the past year. It cracked the Top 40 Browsers, though, coming in as a tie with Dolfin at #39, two visits behind BlackBerry 9300. I enjoy a good memory as well as anyone, but there are times when we must give up the ghost.