File UploadsCurrently, iCab Mobile seems to be the only iOS browser which supports file uploads for files of any file format. The fact that no other browser supports file uploads is caused by the web engine of the iOS, which does not support file uploads, and Apple does not allow to use other web engines on the device. And the API of this web engine is so limited, that it seems impossible to add file upload support (but there are still ways to do it without violating the programming guidelines).
The web engine of iOS 6 is the first one supporting file uploads as well, but only for photos. And of course not all devices can be updated to iOS 6 (the most important devices which won't get iOS 6 are the first iPad generation models). So even with iOS 6, iCab Mobile can be your only choice to upload files.
There's already an Add-On for the concrete5 CMS available which makes it easy to add file upload windows to your web page and which explicitly supports iCab Mobile to provide the best user experience even on the iOS platform. It's the Front End File Uploader Add-on by John Liddiard.
x-callback-urliCab Mobile (Version 6.0 and newer) supports the x-callback-url protocol. This allows other Apps to trigger certain actions within iCab Mobile, like launching iCab in fullscreen mode, adding bookmarks, filters or search engines, initiate a search or a download and of course opening web pages.
The documentation of the API for the 'x-callback-url' protocol in iCab Mobile can be found in the iCab Blog.
A few of these actions can be also saved as shortcut on the homescreen of your device so you can access these features more quickly. These actions are launching iCab Mobile in fullscreen mode, normal mode and for initiating a search. Please check out the Shortcut page and follow the instructions to add the bookmarks on the homescreen.
FiltersiCab Mobile provides a filter feature which can be used to filter out advertising banners and other stuff. The build-in filters do provide some basic ad filters which do filter out many ads, but not all. An iCab user has converted the "fanboy" adblocker list into a format that can be imported in iCab Mobile. This filter list has over 3000 filters and filters much more ads than the default filters. But it also needs much more memory and especially on the older and slower devices, the large filter list might slow down page loading. In any case, if you are insterested in this list, you can download it from here: fanboy_adblock.txt. Use the Export/Import feature to import the filters list from your PC/Mac to iCab Mobile.
AppLinkAppLink is an API which makes it easy for Apps to find out which other Apps are installed on the device to open certain URLs and to open the URL in these Apps.
For example, using AppLink a Wikipedia App like "Wikipanion" is able to open links not only in Safari, but also in iCab Mobile. And this is possible even though the iOS does not allow to change the default browser. Also a browser like iCab Mobile can provide a special button when the user opens a wikipedia page which will pass the page directly to the "Wikipanion" app.
AppLinks makes it easy for Apps to work together when URLs are involved. And there are many Web-based servives with specialized Apps, where this would be useful: Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, etc.
Users don't have to copy & paste URLs from one App to the other, or even manually. A tap with a finger is all they need to do.
A description of the AppLink API can be found in the iCab Blog.
A few examples of AppLink compatible Apps...
- NewsTap (Usenet Reader)
- This App can open links in iCab Mobile and Safari (and also in other AppLink compatible browsers). It can also bookmark a link directly in iCab Mobile.
- SEP, Wikipanion
- Both Apps are specialized readers for a special web site. They can open links in Safari or iCab Mobile or other AppLink compatible browsers.
- Zeichen, Turing
- These Apps open their support web pages in and AppLink compatible browser.
- iCab Mobile
- The browser shows a special button whenever a web page is displayed, which can be processed by another (AppLink compatible) App that is installed on the device.