Procyon – An iOS Browser With Built-In Nitro Support, Download Manager and more

With every iOS device, you get a handful of staple Apple apps, which includes Apple’s browser – Safari. The only reason why I used Safari initially was because it had built-in Nitro which made javascript loading faster and the overall experience smooth. Safari also had sharing options and a pretty decent bookmark option i.e. pin to HomeScreen but one huge minus in Safari is that you can run only 8 tabs simultaneously, which for people like me is *really* less. I was satisfied with Safari until Google dropped Chrome for iOS. Chrome really took it to Safari with its plethora of features including the omni-bar and a prettier UI (you can even open infinite tabs in Chrome). Personally I’m a G-mail person and with Chrome running on my Mac as well as on my phone, I have a pretty good eco-system. But yet Chrome lacked features like sharing and pinning to HomeScreen and a few others.

This is where Procyon another browser comes in. Procyon is a good mix of features of Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome but with a not-so-appealing UI. The most prominent feature that Procyon incorporates is that it has built-in Nitro support, yes this is the first browser other than Safari to have Nitro support. The developer pulled a couple of hacks to get it working, and boy is it as fast as Safari. If you are wondering why have I placed the image of stars up, here you go:

Procyon (α CMi, α Canis Minoris, Alpha Canis Minoris) is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Minor. To the naked eye, it appears to be a single star, the seventh brightest in the night sky with a visual apparent magnitude of 0.34. It is actually a binary star system, consisting of a white main sequence star of spectral type F5 IV-V, named Procyon A, and a faint white dwarf companion of spectral type DA, named Procyon B. The reason for its brightness is not its intrinsic luminosity but its closeness to the Sun; as determined by the Hipparcos astrometry satellite, it lies at a distance of just 11.46 light-years (3.51 parsecs), and is therefore one of our nearest stellar neighbours. Its closest neighbour isLuyten’s Star, about 1.12 ly (0.34 pc) away, and the latter would appear as a visual magnitude −7 star in the night sky of a hypothetical planet orbiting Procyon.

Here is what Procyon offers:

In the settings panel, you’ll see a few options, some of them:

  1. Homepage: You can type in a URL link to the web-page you want Procyon to open every time you start the browser
  2. User Agent: This is pretty slick as this will spoof your user-agent making websites think that you are using some other client like IE 9, Firefox 13 (Windows) etc…
  3. Adblock: This is pretty cool too since it will block all those annoying ads on websites that hinder website navigation
  4. You can also theme it according to the preset themes

Now a few features of the browser itself:

  1. Omni-bar: This means that there is only one bar for URL typing and Google searching
  2. Sharing: If you have seen Safari’s iOS 6 sharing then you can expect the same thing from Procyon’s sharing menu too. You can share URLs to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Email/message them or pin the site to your HomeScreen
  3. You can open infinite number of tabs
  4. Procyon has an in-built download manager which allows you to download files from web-sites and view them in iFile (or apps like iFile). Neither Safari nor Chrome have this feature embedded in them (unless you use a couple of tweaks)
  5. Pull to refresh

Some cons:

  1. Procyon has a bug that does not show the complete search item vertically (see the video to understand what I mean)
  2. It is not quite smooth while opening multiple tabs (the animation looks broke)
  3. It does not have an Incognito or in-private browsing option
  4. Pre-defined homepage in the settings app sometimes breaks Procyon and forces you a re-spring

All in all, I think Procyon is here to stay because it is a nice blend of both Safari and Chrome. A few more updates to it and it should be flawless (hypothetically).

If you are interested in Procyon, you can head over to Cydia and install Procyon for free from under the BigBoss repo.

Stay tuned with us for more info at iOS Jedi Blog or join our Facebook fan page or Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feeds or connect with us on our Freenode-IRC channel for any iOS question you have.


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