Best Alternative Web Browsers for Android

One of the most used application on any Android phone is the browser. That’s the starting point to the world of internet. The default or stock browser does it job pretty well but it doesn’t mean that you cannot try out some new alternative browsers on Android. You would be surprised to know that some of these new third-party browsers offer features that are not present on stock browser.

Using the default/stock browser always is like using Internet Explorer, as it comes installed with Windows. People still install browsers like Chrome, Opera and Firefox. Same way, if you have Android based smartphone, its a good idea to try out some new alternative browsers. Who knows, you may dump that stock browser app and start using the new browser. The stock browser is known as “Internet” which performs really well most of the time, but some of you may miss the multi-tab feature and may want to try out a new browser app.

Best Alternative Web Browsers for Android

Dolphin Browser HD

Dolphin is a really powerful browser for Android users. This browser supports gestures and a plethora of different add-ons can also be installed.

dolphin browser               dolphin sonar

When you start the app for the first time, you’re asked some questions like enabling flash support, perform as Android phone, desktop, iPhone or iPad, and you can also sign-up with Dolphin Connect to sync your browser across all devices.

Dolphin Browser Features

  • Sonar: This browser is voice activated. Dolphin listens and lets you use your voice to search on the Internet, navigate to a certain website, share on your favorite social networks, bookmark your favorite website, and more. Just shake your phone and start talking to Dolphin.
  • Gesture: Now this is where this browser excels. You can create a personal Gesture (symbol) to open websites. Just create a gesture and Dolphin will remember it. Now whenever you want to navigate to that website, just press the “gesture” button from the screen, draw the gesture and the website will be opened. For e.g. you can try navigating to Google.com by drawing G on the screen. Some other inbuilt gestures are back, close current tab, exit browser, forward, new tab, refresh, go to facebook, etc.
  • Add-ons: Want more features not present in this browser? Then try installing add-ons. Currently, you can install more than 60 add-ons. That’s not all, you can also install more themes (skins) to give a new look to your browser.
  • Speed Dial: Visit your favorite website with just one touch. You can easily add website to speed dial from “New tab”.
  • Tabbed browsing: If your desktop browser has tabbed browsing enabled then why not your mobile browser? That’s why Dolphin enables you to open different websites in different tabs and switch between them easily.
  • Webzine: Load web pages with no ads. Webzine simplifies the way you read your favorite mobile content, from news to blogs and websites.
  • Bookmarks: Import bookmarks from your current browser. Organize them into different folders. You can also quickly add a current web page to a bookmark.

Just like Firefox and Chrome, you can install different add-ons to add number of new features to your browser, be it for converting web page to PDF, capturing a screenshot of web page, blocking ads, automatically fill passwords, etc purposes. With Dolphin sonar, its like Siri as in iPhone 4S. Just speak what you want to do. To activate Sonar mode, just shake the phone. The bookmarks sidebar lets you manage all your bookmarks and you can even create different folders. The gesture feature conveniently opens and performs specific actions. You can also create a gesture to open your favorite website.

Download Dolphin Browser from Android Market.

Opera Mobile

Remember Opera Mini which is very popular in feature phones? There is a difference between Opera Mini & Opera Mobile. Opera Mini uses server compression technology to compress web content before it gets to a device whereas Opera Mobile is a full featured browser with Opera Presto – which is run on the phone’s hardware to download and display web pages.

If you’ve got Android smartphone, then Opera Mobile is the way to go but if you want to reduce data costs, then Opera Mini is what you should try.

opera mobile Android
Opera Mobile Features

  • Pinch-to-zoom and smooth panning let you surf in a natural, intuitive way.
  •  Twitter and Facebook support is built in, so you can easily share Web content with others.
  •  Synchronize bookmarks, Speed Dial and more with your computer or other mobile devices via Opera Link.
  •  Games and free apps can be downloaded from the Opera Mobile Store in Opera Mobile’s Speed Dial.

Opera Mobile is ideal if you’ve got 3G or Wi-Fi connection. It runs smoothly and the interface let’s you browse and find other options easily.

Download Opera Mobile

Firefox

Yes, the browser that has an active community and much loved by desktop users. Mozilla has been updating Firefox and they kept making this browser better and better.

firefox android

Firefox is optimized for Android tablets also. It’s fast, easy and customizable, with the latest security and privacy features to help you stay safe online.

Firefox for Android Features

  • With Sync, you can access your browser history, bookmarks, passwords and open tabs from any device.
  • Customize your browser quickly and easily by installing add-ons.
  • Enjoy the convenience of tabbed browsing on the go
  • With Personas, you can change the theme/skin of your browser easily.
  • Swipe to the left and bookmark any site with one touch.

Download Firefox for Android

Skyfire Web Browser

As per the developers, this is the mobile browser for the social networking generation. This browser is also much praised by its users. Skyfire is a mobile web browser packed with several unique features that are hard to find in other browsers.

This browser puts a stress on watching flash videos. Many other browsers fail to play flash content, but this browser transcodes the flash content into HTML5 using Skyfire’s servers. The video can then be played on Android phone. User agent switching options enables you to load web pages as either traditional Android user agent or as a desktop browser.

If you are a social junkie, then with the Facebook like button on every page, you can like any content on the Internet. No need to scroll down and search for like button on the website.

Download Skyfire Web Browser

Try out these alternate browsers for Android smartphone. These browser apps offer you a lot more than the stock app has to offer. They are feature rich and enables you to browser faster and smarter.