Earlier this week, we started taking a look at some of the replacements available on Android for basic functions like SMS replacements and alternate launchers. Android offers everything you need right out of the box, but what if you want more than just the basics or what if you simply want to redesign the color scheme on your messaging application? That is where the true beauty of Android shines; choices.
Android let’s you choose, for the most part, which app you would like to use by default so if you aren’t satisfied with the stock music player, simply pick up another one in the Market and assign it as default. Today, we’re going to take a look at mobile web browsers, an app genre that needs no introduction. Let’s dive right into the top three Android browser alternatives.
Go ahead and follow the break as we take a look at Opera Mini, Firefox and Dolphin Browser HD.
Opera Mini 6
Opera’s most popular mobile browser, known as Opera Mini, is also one of the fastest. Opera claims to be so fast that it can actually save you money on your data bill. While we’ve never actually tested that out, it’s certainly a pretty big claim to make if it wasn’t true. Opera Mini uses Opera servers to compress web pages, to increase load times.
- The speed of Opera on your phone
- Mobile and desktop browsing synchronized with Opera Link
- Visual shortcuts to your favorite Web pages with Speed Dial
- Tabbed browsing for easy multitasking
- Pinch-to-zoom and long-press menus improve user efficiency and control
Opera is available entirely for free, as are the rest of the browsers on today’s feature.
In the interest of offering a fair, unbiased look at the top mobile browsers, we are including the stable release of Firefox as opposed to the beta that is available in the Market. Firefox is a must-have if you use Firefox on your desktop or laptop, as the seamless integration between the desktop and your mobile device is one of the best features the app has to offer.
Firefox is built on the same framework, more or less, as the desktop version of the browser just optimized for Android, so you know it isn’t a shoddy port.
- Synchronize your history, bookmarks, tabs and passwords between all your computers and mobile devices.
- Discover and install add-ons right from your phone or tablet to customize your browser exactly the way you like. Customize Firefox to fit exactly the way you browse with our growing catalog of mobile add-ons.
- Type less with the Awesome Screen, which gives you one-tap access to your bookmarks, history and custom list of search engines.
- Tabbed browsing allows for easy navigation and fast switching between Web sites with just one swipe of your finger.
- Firefox for Android is available in over 10 languages.
- Firefox’s personalized start page gives you instant access to your desktop tabs, the tabs you had open the previous time you browsed on your phone and recommendations for useful add-ons.
- The mobile Firefox is built on the same browser engine as the desktop version, yet optimized for browsing on a mobile device. The result? Speed, efficiency and a seamlessly smooth browsing experience.
Firefox is available for free in the Android Market.
Dolphin Browser HD
Dolphin Browser is a ‘powerful, fast & elegant web browser’ that offers a bunch of great features and is definitely worth your time trying it. Dolphin, like Firefox, features add-ons that help you customize your browsing experience. The browser features tabbed browsing, gesture support, a solid collection of color schemes and over 16 languages supported.
- Add-ons customize your own browser, and make your browser look and function the way you want.
- Use gestures for easy navigation while surfing the Internet. You can draw any pattern for any sites & actions.
- Enjoy desktop class web browsing experience. Create as many tabs as you need, quickly switch between opened web pages and open links in new tabs.
- Dolphin excels bookmark management. Add bookmarks, create multiple nested folders.
- You can save web pages to read them offline with all images preserved.
- You can set Dolphin to browse desktop versions of the web sites.
- Decorate your own browser with the color you want.
Dolphin Browser is free, and can be picked up in the Android Market at the link below.
In the true spirit of Android, we are giving you the info and letting you make the choice. We would be no better than a controlling handset manufacturer were we to tell you that any browser was the only one worth your time. Android gives you choices and so are we. Our advice is simply to give them each a shot until you find the one that is right for you. What works for us, may not work for you.