We’re excited to release an all-new, completely re-written version of ZipZap to the iTunes App Store. We took the idea of our filtering browser to a whole new level. A description of the improvements in this new version is extensive, but they fall into three major categories: feature, performance, and usability enhancements.
Feature improvements are the biggest story in this upgraded version. Our subjective assessment is that mobile web browsing is becoming more and more of an onerous undertaking primarily because of the number of ads that have to load on a typical page (kudos to Wikipedia though). As you might have heard, Apple began allowing ad-blocking software in iOS 9, which we felt provided an excellent opportunity to address one of our pet annoyances. On the other hand, we understand that most websites depend on the revenue generated by ads, so we provided a website DMZ, that will allow ads through for any sites that you think are worth the hastle. Another key feature improvement is tabbed browsing. A web browser’s usefulness is critically limited if you lose your place every time you need to look up a phone number or find directions. Apple’s benevolent decision to give developers access to WebKit made it tenable memory-wise to implement this feature.
Improvements in performance are also significant. As we mentioned, we upgraded the web engine to WebKit, which is the fastest and most advanced engine in the world. It’s the same one at the core of Chrome and Safari. For those of you who know something about Objective C and the Cocoa library, we replaced the antiquated and leaky UIWebView with the WKWebview. This improvement alone significantly speeds up the browsing experience, and it uses significantly less memory. Importantly, it doesn’t leak memory, so the browsing experience doesn’t slow down as you use it. Another performance enhancement is the result of an architectural decision to bring the blacklist and filtering algorithms into the app itself, rather than to rely on a web service, as version 1.0 did. Five years ago when we released our first version, offloading processing and storage made a lot of sense, given the somewhat limited nature of the hardware. Current platform versions are more than adequate in terms of space and processing power to handle our requirements though, so we can eliminate the lag due to network latency.
There are UI improvements throughout. Colors, controls and control locations have all been re-worked. We like it a lot better now, and how that you will too.
We’re grateful to those of you who have stuck with our product through the years. We hope that you’ll tell your friends about ZipZap, and that they’ll tell their friends. We’re very busy upgrading ZipZap with exciting new features, so please check back often for a sneak peak at what we have in the hopper for your soon-to-be-favorite mobile browser.