What do you most on your Android phone? If you're anything like us here at Android Headlines you probably use it for browsing the web, right? Even more so on your tablet, I'm betting. As such, I'm going to be taking a look at a lot of web browsers, and rounding the Top Ten for you below:
1. Dolphin Browser
I don't think Dolphin Browser needs too much of an introduction, it's been around for some time now and was one of the first viable third-party browsers for the platform. I currently use Dolphin Browser HD on my tablet by default and have recently started to use it on my phone as well. Dolphin Browser is unique in one way as it comes in many forms, there's Dolphin Browser Mini, Dolphin Browser HD and Dolphin Browser for Pad. That's not all, though, if you like customisation – which let's face it on Android, you do – then there are a whole host of add-on available for the browser in the Play Store. Ranging from the ability to save Web pages as PDFs to opening your most regular tabs in the morning. There's a killed add-on out there for everyone add that to the customisable start page and you have a browser easily moulded to suit your needs. Definitely worth a shot if you're looking for a change.
2. Google Chrome
If you're running Android 4.0, you're more than likely running Google Chrome. It's fantastic that Google have, at long last, brought their fantastic cross-platform Desktop browser to the Android platform. It's not fantastic that it requires Android 4.0 but as more and more devices get their updates to Ice Cream Sandwich more and more of you will be able to enjoy it. At times, it can be a little heavy on memory but, I've not experienced too much of a problem on that front. The browser itself has improved a lot since it's debut at the beginning of the year, looks fantastic on tablets and phone's alike and also brings one killer feature to the table – tab-sycning. If you're anything like me, your Desktop might always be on, and thus, so is Chrome. Having the ability to access whatever I have open on my Desktop on my tablet or phone is fantastic. It's a great feature and a reason to start using Chrome on it's own. Unfortunately, Chrome for Android doesn't support Flash – nor will it ever – a bummer, for sure but, Flash is definitely on the way out and if you can live without it then you're assured a great experience using Chrome for Android.
3. Firefox for Android (specifically the Beta Version)
You might be wondering why I've suggested a Beta version of a browser for this list. Well, I've done so for a couple of reasons, firstly; it's updated with performance enhancements and features more regularly and secondly; it recently got a significant update regarding it's UI, performance and Flash. It takes up quite a bit of space but, it can be well worth it. If you're a desktop user of Firefox – like myself until a year or so ago – then you can enjoy tab-syncing between the two as well, which is easily set-up and works well. It's extremely quick as well, giving Chrome a good run for its money. If you;re more comfortable with Firefox as a platform on your desktop then this is the browser for you.
4. Maxthon Android Web Browser
This is another big player in the browser market and it certainly lives up to that. Maxthon were one of the first people to develop a third-party web browser for Android, their experience shows time and time again with every release of their popular browser. I discovered Maxthon some time ago – back in the 2.2 days – and found it be greatly superior to the stock browser for what I needed to get done. It's fast, stable and is choc full of features and options to customise it to your needs. The developers are also a busy bunch and there is even a "Kid Safe" version of the browser – found here – which is perfect if you've bought your little one a cheap 7" tablet or they just can't keep their hands off your latest smartphone. There's a lot that Maxthon and its companion apps can offer, well worth a look.
5. Opera Mobile
Opera have long been big players in the Desktop space for web browsers and for the last couple of years they've been gaining ground in the mobile space as well. Their browser has a feature that its long touted on Android – Opera Mobile can load web pages faster by offloading a good portion of data to Opera's own servers through its Turbo mode. This works especially well when either not connected to a Wi-Fi network or don't have a speedy connection from your cell coverage, it's a quick and painless way to get online quick. I've been using Opera Mobile on and off for some time and whilst it's not for me some people swear by it – I certainly can't blame them either. If you're a fan of Opera on the Desktop this is a great experience.
6. Ninesky Browser
This browser shares some design cues with Google Chrome but, that doesn't stop it from shining in its own rite. This is a fast, stable browser with a clean interface that's easy to use. In short, it gets the job done, and it gets the job done well. It's a light browser that packs quite a few features under the hood as well, it features a Speed dial home page, Flash support and detects security certificates throughout the web – which is always nice, isn't it? This is well worth a try if the stock browser wasn't for you.
7. ICS Browser+
Unfortunately, this is another for those lucky enough to be running Ice Cream Sandwich. This is essentially, a perfected version of the default browser that ships with Android 4.0. Of course, it's just a redistributed package of the source code from Google – there's quite a few improvements. The app features "Quick Controls" that relegate all the fluff of a web browser to either edge of the screen to be used in a half-circle radial menu – this works well once you climb the learning curve and you don't fully realise how much real-estate the standard controls of a browser take up until you regain it. You can also change the User Agent to Desktop and there's speed improvements to boot. Basically, the developers have taken the best from Google's latest and made it better which, with the default browser being so good in ICS seems impossible but, somehow they managed it. This is also perfect for those who have a skinned device running Android 4.0 and want a little more Stock Android in their life.
8. Overskreen Floating Browser
This one is for sure, like no other web browser. This isn't a full-fat browser like the rest, but rather a windowed web browser you can put anywhere. Simply put, it's fantastic. Have you ever wanted to have a permanent web browser up – like you do on your pc – to call upon whenever, without switching apps or interrupting that funny cat video on YouTube? Well, this is it, folks. Overskreen gives you just that, a method in which to have a true multitasking web browser for your Android phone or tablet. Yes, it's a paid app but, it doesn't cost all that much and, once you get used to it you'll be thankful. For instance, your on Skype to a friend and there's an argument going on – bring up Wikipedia to silence them, there and then. A brilliant app that has as many uses as you throw at it.
9. xScope Browser
These guys have been around for some time as well, as such, their browser is well established in the Play Store by now. I first stumbled across xScope when I was looking at a new browser for my now defunct Archos A101 that ran 2.2. The browser performed well and I've had it installed on my devices ever since then. It's a solid browser that offers reasonable speeds with great stability. There a lot of features to it, such as a comprehensive bookmark manager and some nice simple themes as well.
10. Boat Browser
A lot of the browsers on the Play Store take cues from the same tab design that Chrome pioneered on the Desktop years ago. As such, it's nice to see an app put their own mark on it. Boat Browser does just that, by bringing a fresh take on a design we all know and love. The speed and stability of the browser coupled with easy bookmark management doesn't help either, no?