Virtually every mobile device needs a web browser. Apple provides Safari but sometimes you want to expand. This takes a look at 8 of the best.
Safari has a somewhat unfair advantage: It’s prepackaged. Safari can open links easily from other apps, and from Search or Siri. It can save bookmarks to the home screen. It can work easily with any app. So, if you need inter-app connectivity, the default browser works well.
Google Chrome is one of the few web browsers that can open links from other apps. It works with other Google apps such as Gmail, even sometimes providing a link back to the app on the back button. It has expected features, and hides the bar when you scroll down for a while.
Atomic Web Browser Lite:
Staying with the free theme, the Lite version of Atomic is by no means a letdown. It has a load of features, including AdBlock, basic sharing options, full-screen, multi-touch, and color customization. The one thing is, the host of features and layout can be intimidating to users, and controls aren’t entirely intuitive. The new tab screen provides information, however, which helps. Another nice feature is downloads.
Another Free version with a host of features, Puffin provides one unique feature: add-ons. Users can choose to install or remove add-ons from a list, however, only add-ons provided by Puffin may be used, although that may change.
Apart from features such as gestures, Puffin has a loading screen that looks a lot like Windows 8. It can also download files that can then be activated. One potential problem is that on sites with many images, like METSploration, the image animation is slow and blocky. Other than that, this is a suitable choice.
Terra provides, when you first open it, very little instruction. That’s because little is necessary. The browser provides a highly simplistic layout and interface, and less flashy features. It does support downloads, including downloading a page’s html, a nice addition. It also supports different desktop clients. The real reason to get it, though, is if you want a clean, simple browser.
Opera Mini has some nice parts–a nice clean new tab, with speed dial. But its speed is nowhere near other browsers, for instance on the METSploration homepage, it reloads every time the picture changes. The controls also seem clunky, unrefined. But if you want a nostalgic browser, and don’t mind loading times, Opera Mini works.
Also by Opera, Coast feels much more present. In fact, it is one of the cleanest, fastest browsers I’ve seen. It’s home screen sports only icons and a search bar. When on a site, the only button visible is the ellipses. That opens the page manager, from where users can swipe pages out, share them, or get information. To save a page as a bookmark, a user goes to the home screen, where the icon appears underneath the bookmarks. To make it a bookmark, just drag the icon to the bookmarks. With a simple yet powerful interface, Coast is one of the best.
Immediately after opening Dolphin, it seems friendlier. With green accents and simple rounded icons, Dolphin also has excellent social features. Another interesting feature it supports is gesture bookmarks, where bookmarks can be referenced by a gesture. The problem with that is that a user has to open up a separate panel for the gesture. If you need social features or want a friendly interface, Dolphin is for you.
After testing 8 excellent web browsers, the three top are:
Coast, for interface;
Atomic, for features;
and Chrome, for all-around reliability.
Is there a web browser you love? Comment below.