Personal iPhone/iPod touch privacy is top of mind for everyone these days, which probably explains the sudden influx of apps — such as PrivateWeb, Privateer and Anonymous Web Browser — into the App Store that promise to wipe the trail of crumbs you leave behind when you're on a surfing safari.
These apps are useful if you share your iPhone/iPod touch with a nosy relative or neighbor. They might also come in handy if you happen to leave your handheld on your desk at the office and the guy in the cube next to you decides to mess with it when you're in your manager's office explaining why you spend all your time surfing instead of working.
They all do the same thing: You can search Google and browse pages without leaving a history and will clear your cache and cookies. These iPhone apps are not standalone Web browsers because Apple does not permit apps into the App Store that substitute for Safari.
Here's a round up of three new arrivals:
Developer: Boy Howdy Technology LLC
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
PrivateWeb, from EGB: PrivateWeb is a rudimentary app. There's a Location bar at the top of the screen. Enter the URL you want that's pretty much it. The Location bar will suggest words, but there's no space bar on the keyboard to tap to enter them. There are also back and forward buttons. $0.99.
Developer: Karl von Randow
Price: $1.99 Download on the App Store
Privateer, from XK72, You can enter a URL into the Location bar or search Google. If your manager happens to walk by, tap the "Boss Key" icon and that will bring up a screen shot of the iPhone/iPod touch's Calculator. Once you've completed a search you can opt to go to Safari to complete your search. The advantage here is that Google search is optimized for the iPhone/iPod touch. $1.99
Developer: Paul Abraham Jaimovich
Price: free Download on the App Store
Anonymous Web Browser with Blackout, from Gp Imp, is the most polished of the three. You have generous-sized Location and Google search bars. It also features an "Anonymous App. Search Engine" search bar. If you're searching for a site that you wish to keep private, tapping the screen will cause it to blackout. A second tap brings the search results page back up. Last, you have buttons to stop a page from loading and back, forward and reload buttons. $0.99.