Developer: Hobbyist Software Limited
Price: free Download on the App Store
If you need to get to a site quickly, Fast Web Free will take you there in pretty good time. In fact, Hobbyist Software, the developer, says Fast Web Free will feed you pages 10 to 30 times faster than loading your everyday Web pages.
Think of Fast Web Free as a no-frills Web browser that gets the essential info you want in a way that’s optimized for your iPhone or iPod touch. It’s not a browser in the way you might think of, however. Apple requires you to to run Safari as your real browser (can’t blame them for that), which is why Fast Web Free is not a conventional browser.
Fast Web Free eliminates menus and sidebars and automatically resizes text to fit the iPhone and iPod touch’s small screens. The company says these menus and sidebars are “folded” out of the way where you don’t see them. That alone will reduce a page’s size so it will load 12 times fast than normal, Hobbyist says. If you turn off images, not only will you see more text, but also the page will load 30 times faster. Again, that’s according to the developer.
For example, Fast Web Free will reduce a 133kb page viewed normally in Safari to 17kb when “folded” and then to 3kb without images.
I’ll have to take Hobbyist Software’s word for the precision of which they say how much faster Fast Web Free makes things go, but it’s obvious that pages frequently do load considerably faster without the usual extras.
You can choose between a Fast Web View of the page, without menus and sidebars, or of the entire page, menus and all, in scaled-down, eye-straining size.
If you decide to see a page in a normal view, you can tap the Globe icon on the bottom menu bar go into Safari.
You can set up the Fast Web Free to start with the last open page, your favorite home page or Google. You also have a privacy mode so you can clear your browsing history.