Up until now, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) was restricting browsing on the iPhone to its own browser — Safari, but over the past 24 hours, third-party Web browsers have started to pop-up in the iPhone App store, reports MacRumors.com. Before you get too excited, we aren’t talking about big well-known brand names, like Opera, Internet Explorer or Firefox, so, it’s unclear if Apple now has an open-door policy to all browsers, or if approvals are being granted on a limited basis. Previously, Web browsing applications were not approved because Apple said they fell into the category of “duplicating functionality” with other iPhone apps.
I checked in with Opera to see if they knew whether Apple’s policies had changed. A spokesman said: “We do not know if full, third-party Web browsers will be allowed on the iPhone. What has been released thus far are skins on top of Safari, so we are not certain if Apple has relaxed its policy. Our goal remains, as always, to make our browser available on as many platforms as possible. However, Opera is at this time still not available for the iPhone.”
The list of browsers right now include:
— Edge Browser: The free app uses the entire screen by eliminating the address and navigation bars.
— Incognito: At $1.99, the app allows you to browse without leaving a history of any kind.
— WebMate: The 99 cent app allows you to queue up all the links you click on and then view them when you’re ready.
— Shaking Web: At $1.99, it allows you to compensate for hand shaking to allow for easier reading.
Picture of the Edge Browser.