May 28, 2020 | Updated: 10:04 PM EDT

The Android Browser Choice

Dec 05, 2013 03:04 PM EST


Most of us use our phones for communication and gaming, but the majority of our time is spent browsing--whether it's a hardcore session spent answering every question you have, or just a quick peek to lookup something you're curious about. Since we browse so much, it follows that we would look for the perfect browser for the experience. Speed, features, and convenience are the characteristics we're all looking for, and there are plenty of options that get the job done, so let's take a look at 5 of the best.

1. Stock Browser: We've all used the stock browser included with android or whatever UI you use at least once. For the sake of simplicity, I'll talk about the stock Android browser. As far as convenience goes, the stock browser is second to none. It's already installed and set as your default as soon as you begin using your device, as long as you are using a device created before Android switched to Chrome as its default browser. The features are simple to use, and include very few bells and whistles. Besides the standard multi-tab browsing, page searching, and bookmarking pages, nothing stands out besides the ability to save a page for offline reading, which adds some convenience to your browsing experience. Coming in at __ on the speed test, the stock browser isn't out to break any speed records, but if convenience is your thing, you can't go wrong with it!

2. Puffin: Puffin browser is by-far the fastest mobile browser Compared to all competition. The reason is its utilization of cloud computing to handle complex tasks. Along with blazing speeds, Puffin has Java capabilities, unlike the rest of the browsers listed here. So if you want crazy speed and the ability to have desktop-like java capabilities, this is the browser for you. The only issues I've seen when using Puffin is its tendency to disconnect at inopportune times. Other than the occasional connection issues, Puffin is a fantastic and speedy browser.

3. Chrome: Chrome needs little introduction, since it is the most-used browser of all-time among Android users based on downloads from the play store. When compared to other browsers speed-wise that run off of the device instead of a cloud, Chrome leads by a landslide. However, Chrome is more than just speed. With the popular incognito mode, you can browse in private without leaving a trace of your browsing session. You can also log into Chrome with your Google account to access your installed add-ons from your desktop, open up browsing sessions from other devices, and share pages on Google+, which is very integrated into Chrome. (You get notifications from G+ while browsing on Chrome.) Since Chrome launches a separate session for every tab you open, it can be a burden on your memory whilst running it. To cope with this potential lag, Chrome kills tabs occasionally when they are not being used. That may cause some bother, but each tab will quickly refresh once reopened. Chrome also utilizes Google Now for voice searching and has HTML5 capabilities.

4. Dolphin: Dolphin browser is an up-and-coming browser, and was on the beta version until recently. However, if you are looking for a fun, feature-filled browser with impressive speed, and aren't worried about simplicity, you may have found your browser. Gesturing is one thing that sets Dolphin apart from other mobile browsers. You can go to a website by writing a design on the screen when prompted. You set your own gestures, so an 'F' could take you to Facebook, or an 'N' could take you to your favorite news website. Sonar is a feature that enables you voice search much like Chrome's Google now. If you log into Dolphin, you can access your data across all of your devices as well. Another feature unique to Dolphin is the ability to set themes for your browsing, such as a different color set. You can also install plugins to help you connect your device and its browsing links to your desktop's Chrome or Safari. The use of the tabs while browsing also allows you to switch quickly between sessions with just one click.

5. Firefox: Firefox is also rather speedy and offers a few neat features along with a simple experience. If you use the desktop version of Firefox, you can sync up your browsing sessions much like Chrome. Reader mode helps you turn cluttered pages into a simple page to read. Add-ons are also available to let you customize your browsing experience. If you need to be doing two things of a different nature at once, you can easily skip back and forth from private tabs to normal tabs, or you can just turn on total security measures, such as "do not track", and turn off your history altogether. Lastly, Firefox has HTML5 support, so if you are running a browser-based app needing HTML5, That last feature may decide it for you.

These are all really great browsers, but the best choice depends on what you want to do with your device. Which one is your favorite? Is there a great choice that we missed? Let us know in the comment section below.

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