While Mobile Safari offers an experience that is sure to satisfy majority of the iOS-using population, it lacks certain features. To fill this gap, there are dozens of third-party browsers available in the App Store. In this post, we’ll be covering the five of the very best Mobile Safari alternatives. Check them out after the jump.
Chrome (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, free)
|Browse fast with Chrome, now available on your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Sign in to sync your personalized Chrome experience from your computer, and bring it with you anywhere you go.|
You knew we were going to list Chrome at the top, right? It shouldn’t be a surprise, really. Chrome has already beaten Firefox on the desktop browser market and it’s chances of becoming a force in the mobile browsing scene are becoming increasingly evident.
Google only needed Chrome for iOS to fulfill two requirements: to look good and have Google Account integration for cloud-based syncing of bookmarks, passwords, recently visited websites; the app excels at both. Chrome features an outstanding user interface that’s intuitive and fast, and its syncs with your Chrome account flawlessly.
I switched to Google Chrome as soon as BrowserChooser was released by the jailbreak community; haven’t looked back ever since.
Opera Mini (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, free)
|Do you experience slow Internet browsing? Get the fastest, most cost-efficient web-browsing experience for your iOS device today. .|
Opera Mini’s release was surrounded by considerable hype a couple of years ago because it was developed by an established browser vendor, and was the first ever web browser on iOS to use a different engine than UIWebView (the rendering engine every iOS browser has to use, no matter what).
Opera Mini today is considerably less popular than it was in the two months or so after release, but it’s still the go to browser for people on slow Internet connections since it uses Opera Turbo technology that compresses web pages before delivering them to you. Opera enthusiasts also use Opera Mini when they can because of its ability to sync browsing data across platforms using Opera Link.
Mercury (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad)
|Mercury Web Browser Pro|
|Mercury is the the most advanced and elegant web browser for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The rich feature set includes themes, downloading, printing, fullscreen browsing, file sharing, adblock, tabs, multi touch geatures, user agent switcher, private browsing, passcode lock, save page, Facebook/Twitter integration and a lot more.|
Mercury for iOS is a powerhouse of a mobile browser with a very strong list of unique features you won’t find in any other mobile browser, let alone a desktop one. The list of features are so strong and varied that we decided to list them in the form of bullets:
Support for Firefox Sync for cloud-based syncing of bookmarks
The ability to send your downloaded files straight to Dropbox (I really like this!) or save them so you can transfer them to your desktop computer using iTunes File Sharing
Webpage compression options like Opera for quicker surfing
User agent switching so you can pretend to the website as if you’re on Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari
Full screen browsing, ad blocking, printing
Two and three finger gesture support
Built-in file manager for viewing folder
Facebook and Twitter integration
Private browsing for when you need to browse without leaving tracks for whatever reason
… and a whole lot more for just $0.99. The UI does take a slight hit from juggling all these features, but despite all that, it’s one browser you should definitely check out.