Browsing the Internet has become one of the most popular uses for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, over the last several years. This has brought a surge in the number of browsers available for each platform, which gives users a wide range of choices to select from. Knowing which features are the most important, and which browsers are the best overall, is a great way to enhance your mobile browsing experience.
Features to Look For In a Mobile Browser
While the number of features packed into most browsers is usually substantial, there are a few that are the most important and sought after. These include:
- Private Mode: A secure way to surf that does not log your browsing history
- Cross-Platform Syncing: Ability to sync things like history, bookmarks, and tabs with desktop versions.
- Smartphone Features: Integration with smartphone capabilities like voice commands and searching.
- Add-ons: Additions you can install that add extra features to the browser.
- Speed and Data Enhancements: The ability to compress large files, like videos and images. This speeds up browsing, and can result in a decreased amount of data used.
The Best Browsers Available For Smartphones and Tablets
The best software to use for virtually any activity effectively combines usability and capabilities, and mobile browsers are no different. Following are the best browsers available that are both easy and fun to use, as well as chock full of powerful capabilities.
Google Chrome is most likely the widest used mobile browser today, and usually comes as the default browser on most Android smartphones and tablets. This is primarily due to its exceptional integration with one of the most popular desktop browsers, which allows seamless transition of most personal preferences and information. It is also tied in heavily with the most popular search engine out there, which makes it easy to find virtually anything you are looking for.
Chrome also includes things like Incognito mode, their version of private browsing, and voice recognition for spoken commands and queries. A one-touch feature for searching, and the ability to store entire websites for offline viewing, are just a couple of examples of the awesome capabilities Chrome has to offer. Chrome is available for use on both popular mobile platforms, Android and iOS.
Another classic, Firefox’s mobile browser includes the most popular features like tabbed browsing, integration with the desktop version, and private browsing. However, Firefox is truly worthy of note due to their extensive number of add-ons available for a wide variety of uses, such as blocking ads and managing passwords. It is important to note, however, that many of these add-ons are available only on the Android platform. Firefox is available on both iOS and Android.
Safari is the only browser of note that is available solely on iOS, with no Android version. When you purchase a new iPhone, Safari will come as the default browser. In fact, unless you jailbreak your device, you are unable to switch the default browser in an iPhone. However, if you use an Apple machine at home or work, it will be worth it by syncing up with the mobile version flawlessly. Notable features included with Safari is a tight integration with virtual assistant, Siri, and a comprehensive ad blocker built right into it.
Opera is a browser that comes in two different versions, Opera and Opera Mini. As its name would indicate, Opera Mini us a scaled down version of the full version of Opera, which focuses primarily on speed. In fact, Opera Mini has been rated the fastest browser of any other competitor, sometimes by a wide margin. Data compression capabilities, tabbed browsing, and a stellar and intuitive keyboard all make Opera a good alternative to look into. The full version of Opera is available only on Android, while Opera Mini has versions for both Android and iOS.
Finding the perfect browser for your smartphone or tablet is an important step in achieving the pinnacle of web surfing and searching enjoyment and effectiveness. While it may be tempting to just stick with whatever comes default on your device, it can be well worth the time to take a look at some of the other free choices you have available to you.