Technology 

THE 7 BEST BROWSERS FOR ANDROID

Browsing the web on your smartphone doesn’t have to be an exercise in futility. A good browser app can make even slow and unresponsive webpages better by speeding up images, saving your passwords, and enabling third-party plugins. The tough part is finding a browser you like. Fortunately for you,we’ve picked the most intuitive and robust mobile browsers we could find, but it’s ultimately a matter of taste: You have to find the browser that suits your needs. With that in mind, here are the best browsers for Android.

Not sure which desktop browser is right for you? Lucky for you, we’ve put together a guide outlining the best browsers in existence.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome has a cornucopia of features, a few of which include the ability to start searches from the address bar, browse the web privately with Incognito mode, and automatically fill web forms.

Unsurprisingly, Chrome really shines if you have a Google account. Once you sign in, it syncs your bookmarks, tabs, and history across devices, remembers your usernames and passwords, and autocompletes your web searches.

But you don’t need a Google account to take advantage of Chrome’s tabbed browsing, which lets you switch between webpages with a few taps. Ditto for Data Saver, which compresses images, fonts, and other web objects to speed up browsing and reduce your data usage.

Best for: Users already steeped in Google’s ecosystem.

Opera

Opera Mobile, the team behind the Opera for Windows and MacOS, regularly gets new features via free updates. One of the more recent are a built-in ad blocker that zaps pop-ups, interstitials, and banner ads from webpages, and a redesigned search bar can scan QR codes.

Opera Mobile is a great browser, besides. It supports tabbed and private browsing, password management, and form auto-completion. And if you sign in with an Opera account, it syncs your session across other signed-in devices.

Best for: Users who want something that’s easy to use with lots of features.

Firefox

Firefox, by the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, is unique in that it supports extensions — third-party tools that augment your browsing experience in a variety of ways. There’s AdBlock Plus, text-to-speech engine Speechify and password manager LastPass — and that’s just scratching the surface.

Extensions aren’t Firefox’s only unique contribution to mobile browsers. Its night-viewing mode webpage colors in order to minimize eye strain. There’s a robust set of privacy controls that let you block ad networks from tracking your browsing habits. And Firefox has Chrome-like bookmark, history, password, and tab syncing features second to none.

Best for: Users who don’t mind a bit of tinkering.

Firefox Focus

Mozilla’s Firefox browser is good for general-purpose browsing, but if you’re looking for something more security-conscious, there’s Firefox Focus. The app — which recently made its way to Android — features a stripped-down, streamlined interface that hides ads, shows you how many tracking programs are being actively blocked on any given page, and periodically reminds you to erase your browsing history.

Focus might not be the most holistic anti-tracking browser on the market, but it’s definitely one of the easiest to use.

Best for: Users concerned about web privacy.

Puffin

CloudMosa’s Puffin browser doesn’t have quite the same pedigree as some of the competition. But it makes up for it with features like mouse cursor emulation, a virtual gamepad, and a theme chooser.

What truly separates Puffin from the crowd, though, is support for Adobe Flash content. It uses remote servers to download and stream Flash games and videos to your device. It’s not perfect — the browser’s free tier only lets you stream up to 12 hours of Flash content a day — but until Adobe retires Flash in 2020, it’s one of the best ways to use sites that won’t let Flash go.

Puffin also has a privacy mode, data compression, and a handful of add-ons like Twitter, Facebook, and Pocket.

Best for: Users who browse websites with a lot of Flash content.

Dolphin

Dolphin launched more than four years ago, but has managed to stay relevant with features like Dolphin Sonar, which lets you search for things with voice (i.e., “search eBay for Nike Shoes” and “go to Google.com”). Gesture browsing lets you to bookmark webpages with finger gestures, and Webzine, Dolphin’s answer to Flipboard, aggregates more than 300 web sources in a variety of disciplines within an offline, “magazine-style” digest.

Dolphin is competitive in other ways. It, like Firefox and Puffin, supports add-ons, tabbed browsing, private browsing, form autocompletion, and password syncing. And it syncs via Dolphin Connect; log in with your Google or Facebook info, install the corresponding Chrome or Firefox extension on your computer, and your tabs, history, and bookmarks will sync in the background. There’s a reason Dolphin is also one of the best browsers for the iPhone.

Best for: Users looking for a kitchen sink’s worth of features.

Samsung Internet Browser Beta

Samsung doesn’t just make phones. The aptly-titled Internet Browser, which had been relegated to its Galaxy smartphones, recently came to Pixel and Nexus devices, and it’s chock-full of useful features. It supports content blockers such as AdBlock and Disconnect, as well as a high-contrast viewing mode designed for users with impaired vision. You can also use the browser to sync bookmarks, saved pages, and tabs with non-Samsung devices via a corresponding Chrome extension.

Internet Browser’s other highlights include the newest, fastest version of Google’s rendering engine (v6), and an extension for Gamepad controllers. It’s available for all Android devices running 5.0 Lollipop or later.

Best for: Users looking for a no-frills browsing experience.

 

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