With so many lovely apps out there for Android, it can be easy to forget an app that we probably all use on an almost daily basis, and consistently throughout the day. The browser. Once upon a time there was only a small selection of alternate browsers included in the Android OS, along with the default Android browser. Now the default android browser is essentially no more, and has been replaced by Google with Chrome for Android. Today there are also a pretty large selection of browser apps to choose from, all having pretty nifty features. In this latest app battle we’ll be putting Google’s Chrome Browser for Android up against a longstanding favorite in the community of Android users, Dolphin Browser. Don’t forget to cast your vote in the poll down below to determine who should be crowned king.
Chrome Browser for Android
Chrome for Android was a long time coming. It is easily the favorite browser among the majority of people on desktops for its lightweight size and speedy functionality, and for the most part the Chrome Browser for Android is the same in the way that it functions. Most of the features you can find in Chrome for desktop can be found in the Android version of the browser, which has drawn many users to it over other available options. We talked earlier about how Chrome for Android might be getting a home button, sadly this is something that is not currently available except for a small number of limited testers. It does however support tabs just like on desktop, and you can sync it between all your devices whether it be Chrome OS, Windows or Mac, and even Android so all your settings, bookmarks and tabs are available anywhere.
Chrome also claims to save you on mobile data by reducing mobile data usage while browsing by up to 50%. I have personally never tested that myself, but as someone with a mobile data cap any saving on data that can be had is of extreme benefit. Since this is Google’s browser and search as well as voice search are huge things for Google, you can use voice search within Chrome just like in other parts of the Android OS. Chrome also includes Google Translate, allowing you to browse websites that are in other languages without having to download any extensions or extras. It also supports some really cool gestures now, allowing you to flip between all and any open tabs by simply swiping from side to side across the toolbar. It also has the well-known “incognito mode” so you can browse without worrying that someone could snoop through your browser history. The new version of Android is on the way, and Chrome evokes the new Material Design sense of style with a few different elements, and it lets you sign in to pretty much any Google related webpage if you sign into the browser itself. Best of all, it’s free.
Dolphin Browser is one of those browsers that has been on Android for a long time, even quite a while before Google’s own Chrome. It has come a long way and offers tons of great features, and is fast and light to boot. Just like Google, it has cross platform sync, so all your settings, tabs and bookmarks are accessible whether you’re browsing on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. It also carries voice control(called sonar)so you can search and complete functions just by speaking, and if you don’t want to speak you can simply draw on screen using the gestures(which you can create by drawing symbols)to complete your tasks and most used actions, taking the intuitive gestures that Chrome offers a few steps further by adding even more functionality.
Users of Dolphin Browser also have the ability to personalize and customize their browsing experience visually by applying themes, and if you’re often up late while you browse you might enjoy Dolphin Browser’s “night mode” ability. It also features a great one-tap share action making photos shares and tweets to Facebook or Twitter that much simpler and a lot faster. Just like Chrome now, Dolphin also has a smart search feature that auto completes your searches for you, and unlike Chrome(for now at least)it offers a home button function that allows the user to set a specific homepage. Similar to Chrome for desktop’s extensions Dolphin will let you install add-ons to enhance your browser experience, and it features web apps so that you don’t have to exit the browser to use things like Facebook, or Evernote(or any of the other 200+ apps). Another really cool feature is the WiFi broadcast, which lets you share links with friends or family that are either nearby or linked up to your local WiFi connection. Dolphin Browser is also free just like Chrome for Android, making it a really great browser option for everything included.
Two really great browsers, lots of great features in each, both free, fast, and pretty lightweight for everything they offer. But, who deserves the crown? Which browser is king? The one from the search giant that runs the operating system? Or the browser that has been around since Android’s early days well before Google even launched Chrome for Android? You decide, cast your vote in the poll, and feel free to also comment on our G+ post.