8 Android Browsers You May Have Missed
Ok, we all use the default Android browser… or do not use it, just put up with it eating out some memory. It’s a waste of time to tell about Chrome. Many of us have finally stopped on the new UC Browser. Firefox browser feels incomparably better than its stillborn OS. And if I forget thee, oh Opera, let my right button forget her skill!
But there’s a deeper level if you follow our lead - LL Cool J
All of the browsers below are free and functional; besides, each of them has its own feature on top, a feature that makes you think if this browser is the one you always needed. And of course, they all do what a browser should do well - they open pages, store bookmarks and passwords, support tabs, so we’ll skip the basics and focus on extras.
The developers describe their product as “wicked fast”, and yes, they have their reasons. Though the technique Puffin uses is not unique (Opera was the pioneer), this browser really excites with how fast it loads and renders web pages.
Mobile browsers tend to give up Flash after Adobe officially condemned this epochal technology, but on the Web, Flash is still alive and invincible as if it's its last name were Gordon.
Puffin is a rare bird in browsers’ world that supports Flash even through its compressing servers. If you often visit sites that haven’t moved to HTML5 yet, Puffin is the first in line for you to try. Maybe, you won’t even search others.
Supporting Flash requires a lot of improvements and solutions other browsers won’t need at all. Puffin supports gamepads and virtual trackpads, so you can play interactive Flash games like you do on your PC. Flash videos and games can be opened through a special Theater mode.
The browser will be especially useful for those residing in developing countries, where even 3G is still being implemented, let alone LTE.
And yes, there’s a Pro version that costs about $1.99 and provides encrypted data transfer, speed priority and up to 90% increasing page opening speed. In fact, the developers promise the same about the free version, so the only respectable reason to buy Pro is your own wish to support the project.
One of the most popular “alternative” browsers for Android boasts that it outperforms all the titans on the market, like Opera, Firefox and even Chrome. Well, hardly will it outperform these dinosaurs in syncing with their own desktop versions and cloud services, but still it’s a remarkable app.
We should point out some its features like changeable skins, voice recognition for search in different services, buttons for quick sharing pages on social pages, Flash support - not as great as in Puffin that has made it its killer feature, but still decent, video downloader utility and AdBlock utility already built-in.
Maybe Dolphin's fresh design with a special sidebar for bookmarks will also satisfy you more than Chrome or other market monsters. And if you select the right theme, great will be your delight.
What do we pay in fact for this free browser? Some users claim this browser doesn’t let them remove some pages from the start batch, like Amazon or eBay. Maybe you’ll be luckier and won’t be disturbed with this.
Incognito surfing is realized in Chrome-like mode, all it takes is opening a new tab in Incognito mode. But if you’re so concerned about being invisible, you can proceed to the next one.
Dolphin Zero Browser
When you’re a zero, no one can identify you. Dolphin Zero is a special version of Dolphin Browser created for anonymous surfing. Yes, it would be easier to have private tabs like it’s done in Chrome or regular Dolphin version.
But you’re supposed to open new pages in Incognito tabs intendedly, and what if one day you act too careless? Zero Browser won’t let you fail like that.
The specific mode of this browser saves no data the ordinary user leaves. You store no history, no passwords, no cookies and no cache on your device. So if someone gets access to it, they will never trace where you have been.
Sometimes it asks you for some information (like your location data) when sites you visit require this data. But it’s up to you whether to allow Dolphin Zero this access, especially if you’re on Android Marshmallow.
So if you have already joined the Anonymous Legion, or only planning to, this one’s for you. And, maybe this also matters to you, it’s lightweight, only 500 K.
We have already mentioned this small and lightning-fast browser as the best option for viewing web links within other apps. Its mechanism is quite suitable for this purpose: the browser only shows the page after it’s fully downloaded in the background. Until that moment you can keep using the app you have found the link in. And it supports even multiple links within the same app!
But besides that it’s a very convenient browser for everyday needs. It automatically redirects specific links for Twitter or Instagram to corresponding apps without opening browser tab, what Chrome does.
When you use it as a regular browser, you can enjoy its light and dark interface themes and a special Reading mode.
Brave is not the lightest browser in the market with its 3.3 M. But its unique features can make it the right choice for you. And yes, you can use it alongside with Chrome or whatever browser you like.
It’s your own Boat, and you can set it up as you like. The main attractive feature of Boat Browser is full customizability. Everything is changeable. You can adjust the volume key actions, buttons position, select the right interface theme, install the add-ons you need from the app’s inner market!
After all these configuring works you’ll get your own unique browser, optimized for your needs. This customization saves your time and nerves. If you’re running out of internal memory, you can install the Boat Browser onto your MicroSD card and store the cache there. This option is irreplaceable for the owhers of older phones.
The browser’s interface is easy and well-optimized due to bookmarks sidebar that saves space. Visual bookmarks provide fast access to the sites you visit the most frequently.
Don’t forget to save all your browser’s settings after you have made it your own. We recommend using Titanium Backup for this and backing your browser with all your add-ons and adjustments.
The free version is ad-supported and lacks some premium features, like replacing preset bookmarks by your own. But if you don’t mind some ads and preinstalled links, you don’t have to go premium.
Will this browser become your habit? Maybe yes, if you’re a red-eye Linuxhead. The essence of Habit is a great, no, the greatest lot of settings you can adjust yourself. Security, layouts, gesture controls and many, many more treasures are hidden behind a simple interface.
The app has a lot of features that make surfing comfortable. Pages can be adjusted to screen size as well as shown in its original size, so you’ll have to zoom out to see the whole picture and scroll horizontally to read. Yes, sometimes it’s useful. If you have collected a bookmark database in your Opera of Firefox (no matter, desktop or mobile), you can import them into Habit.
You can redirect specific links to the apps they should be opened in, like in Link Bubble, without opening a browser tab.
But the most impressive thing is support of user scripts. You can download or save scripts from popular bases or, if you’re experienced enough, write your own. There’s no need to install any add-ons, the scripts are natively supported.
Exploring Habit can be just as interesting as exploring the Internet with it. Of course, if you’re the one to dig deep into its code.
This lightweight (or rather lightning-weight) browser is just the opposite to Habit. The mission of Lightning Browser is to provide the fastest, the most convenient and aesthetically pleasing browsing experience, and that’s what it does.
It takes less than 2 MB to bring the perfect design with nothing to add or remove, with most screen space free for site content. The menu elements are so carefully hidden that the browser seems naked without them. You can select color schemes to fit your light conditions and your eyesight.
As the time commands, it has an Anonymous mode for surfing with no trace left on your device. You can switch User Agents manually for sites to react the way you need.
Flash support is claimed, but in fact, it’s not guaranteed. It depends on too many factors: your device and OS version, the website you're visiting, other parameters you may consider insignificant. So if Flash is critical for you, think about Puffin.
Unfortunately, the number of tabs is limited in the free version. You’ll have to go Pro to break from these limitations and get the internal ad blocker instead.
"Economy" is the word. The APUS browser developed by APUS team nest known for its launcher is as minimalistic as can be: a mere 600 K, just a bit larger than Dolphin Zero. Despite its tiny size, it has a full pack of useful features.
Select the search system you prefer. Download large files at highest speed with a built-in utility. Browse anonymously in protected tabs. Play HTML5 games in full screen mode.
2G users or users with a tight data plan will appreciate the old but useful feature of switching off images. Without loading graphics pages are incomparably smaller and load way faster. Maybe you flipped the same trick in your Internet Explorer in the 1990s, or your parents did. Yes, even in 2016 640 K is more than enough for everyone using this browser!
The Bottom Line
The Rateful Eight we have selected is yet to be rated by you. But each of these browsers has already gained its faithful audience that may lack you so far. Don’t be afraid to try something out of the mainstream. We’re all special!