In the words of the late great Louis Armstrong, “You like potato and I like potahto, You like tomato and I like tomahto.” And the same goes for browser preferences. Some people prefer a streamlined browser that gets the job done of circumventing the Web simply and effectively. The much-maligned Internet Explorer computer browser falls into this category. It’s not fancy, or cool, but it gets the job done and it’s popular with everyday home computer users. But for some power users and those of us who make a living sitting before a computer screen everyday, IE just doesn’t cut it. Browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, offer different features or offer them in a different way, along with better performance and better functionality.
The same goes with browsers for Android mobile devices. The default Android browser is comparable to any “average” default browser; it’s not fancy but it does what it’s supposed to do without causing the average smartphone user any headaches. But if you prefer tomahto to tomato, you are missing out. There are now a slew of browser options to choose from to use on your Android device. Some offer speed and others offer cool features and add-ons. Based on a conglomeration of multiple speed tests and reviews, and taking into consideration that many folks still use Android 2.1 that doesn’t support Flash, we has narrowed the Android browsers down to the top three. What are our picks? The Opera Mini Browser, Skyfire Web Browser and Dolphin HD Browser.
The Opera Mini Browser comes out on top for its speed, super fast page loading and its use of economical compression technology. Opera bills its mini browser as “the fastest browser on Earth.” In various speed tests it’s practically tied with Skyfire, but Opera excels in opening up saved sites in record time. Speed isn’t everything, but it’s definitely a priority when you are worried about being hit with hefty roaming charges or are stuck in a near dead zone.
With tabbed browsing, pinch zoom, speed dial synchronized bookmarks and integrated Twitter and Facebook support, you just can’t beat Opera Mini. You can also shop at the Opera Mobile Store for games and free apps.
The Skyfire Web Browser consistently comes out on top as one of the best browsers for Android devices. Why? It’s crazy-fast, it has a great intuitive interface, fun features and best of all; it offers built-in support for Flash video. The video capability alone makes Skyfire worth it, especially if you have a smartphone loaded with Android 2.1 that doesn’t support Flash. Skyfire consistently sizzles, opening up live websites faster than Opera Mini, even. It also gives you the option of viewing websites in a desktop format. It kills with integrated social networking, keeping Facebook and Twitter close at hand with Skyfire’s neat Fireplace feature that handles (some) of your social feeds.
Last, but not least, the Dolphin Browser HD has to be on anyone’s top list for the enormous add-on catalog and feature-set. The Dolphin has the look and feel of a standard full-featured desktop browser with all the bells and whistles, and then some. If you like tomahto, then this is the browser for you. It has multi-touch pinch-to-zoom, tabbed browsing, theme packs, voice search and support for Google reader RSS feeds. Dolphin HD also features unexpected closed tab recovery, which definitely can come in handy. It’s not the fastest Android browser, but if you’re looking for a full-featured browser and you enjoy spending endless hours customizing stuff, then the Dolphin HD is for you.
What’s your favorite?
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