More often than not, the default browser that comes with the smartphone or tablet is not enough to satisfy all your browsing needs. In iOS, Safari is the default, but you will not be able to find a faster browser than Safari for iOS. That is because iOS forces all other browsers to use a customized shell on top of Safari code. Nonetheless, some browsers offer other meaningful features you might need. Let us see the virtues of the top five browsers for iOS currently on the app store. The list is in no particular order – the bestness of each browser depends on users’ preferences.
An excellent browser in and of itself, Safari comes installed on all iOS devices. It is a benchmark browser, so outperforming it would be a real challenge. It is fast; the font rendering is great; it lets you sync the content with other apps and save it for reading later. It has the “Reader Mode,” which removes all the extra stuff from the page, leaving just the text and relevant images – no ads, banners, and other distracting elements.
My personal favorite, Firefox has one significant advantage, which makes it a must-have for users who tend to have too many tabs open – tab groups. Firefox, too, can sync all your settings, tabs and bookmarks across the platforms for a more streamlined experience. It is also faster than Chrome if you have multiple tabs open at browser startup. Firefox has a “Reader Mode” you can customize – font, background, or even have it read the text to you.
For enhanced security and privacy, use Firefox Focus, which comes with security features on by default – ad blocker, trackers blocker, ad trackers, and features that disable other privacy-intrusive beacons and trackers.
There is no way we can make do without Chrome on this list. Synchronization is one of its greatest features, as it enables you to use the same browser settings, tabs, and bookmarks throughout all your devices – desktop and mobile. So, you can set things up using your desktop browser, and enjoy the already setup browser on mobile. Chrome also syncs with Gboard and Google Assistant and other Google apps.
Now, Opera offers two quite superb browsers for iOS platform – Opera Mini and Opera Coast. Opera Mini is ideal if you need to save data. If you rely on a browser to do simple things like reading, Opera Mini will compress images, do away with unnecessary formatting and present you with just the basic text, which might not look all that fancy, but it’s good for reading and saving data at the same time.
Opera Coast, on the other hand, has been optimized for iOS specifically, with support for 3D Touch. It might look as if it comes with a steep learning curve because the first thing that strikes you when you look at it is the absence of the address bar. Swipe up to access it. It is a neat and capable browser, quite customizable, so totally worth a place on the list.
Puffin is the browser for media consumption. Often it would load media content that other browser won’t, such as Flash. It also is a fast one, because it compresses pages to consume less data but preserve visual quality. Most likely, you will not rely on Puffin for your routine productivity tasks, but you might find it more capable than other browsers for watching movies online.
Dolphin is a mobile-only browser; it has no desktop counterpart. Quite a robust browser, with Dolphin Zero for private browsing, it is highly customizable. You can tweak many of its features, which has made Dolphin popular among advanced users.
What’s your favorite iOS browser?