A kikin browser for researchers

iPad users will find the kikin browser [iPad – free] a joy to use. When it comes to online research, it puts a whole new face on how we search.

kikin browserWhile browsing a web site, a long tap on a word, name or phrase will display a popup pane showing search results for that item. Here I’ve tapped the word calibre in a recent Gazette article and the results are shown in the pane. I can tap on any of these items to view that site. When I do, I’m taken to that site in another popup pane. Once finished there, I tap the close button and I’m right back where I started. I never lose my place no matter how far I wander while searching.

kikin activity menu

kikin supports tabbed browsing with the ability to “pin” your favorite sites in the tab bar – like the Facebook example shown here – so they’re always in easy reach. The omni bar serves both to enter the address to a specific site or to enter a search term or phrase. As you type, a pane appears just below it displaying suggested sites (if your typing a URL) or suggested search terms. It also performs a search for your term/phrase within the text of the displayed page. Just tap one of the suggestions and off you go. The open book icon on the toolbar displays your bookmarks. The social icon gives you the opportunity to share with your favorite social sites and the functions icon offers options for bookmarking, saving and printing.

kikin places

Tap on a place or address and kikin gives you a map to find it. Notice in this example, a social icon appears at the top right corner of the search pane. That can be used to share the map with others.

kikin photoIf your search turns up a photo, you have options too. Click on the social icon at the top of the search pane and you can share the photo or save it to your photo album.

This browser is a delight to use and I’ve found the long tap quickly becomes second nature. If I’m reading a story about a specific person, event or place, that long tap quickly brings up an encyclopedia of information about that topic. For a news story, it provides background, original documents, opinions and more. All it needs to truly be a researcher’s dream come true is a connection to Evernote.