Android is a versatile operating system and by now we all agree to that, isn’t it? We have witnessed lots of applications rising on this operating system to a level that they are now better than the stock options, a perfect example of this is Cal app from the developers of Any.DO.
One most effing thing for an app can be its consumption of resources. This can be data, or hardware. Personally we have found issues with both of them. No single app sustains without data. We live in a world of Internet and there is no escaping what-so-ever. Living in a country like India where data isn’t accessible to everyone as of yet, there should be efforts taken by the developers to make their apps data efficient.
The basic app on a device to make Internet accessible are the web browsers. There has always been a war between the desktop web browsers but now it looks like this is entering the mobile space as well. We observed the same for Android mobile operating system and have our top 5 list ready with additional inputs for both pros and cons. The web browsers are not listed in any chronological order as different users might like different browsers based on their needs and preferences.
Opera Browser or Opera Mini
The developers of the Opera Software have been into the browser business for years on both Mobile and Desktop. They have been well known for their aggressive data saving algorithms and their own rendering engine is now retired. Their mobile browser is now a full blown Android app unlike the Opera Mini and runs on WebKit engine like the Google Chrome. The app feels like a native app made for Android.
Recently, a report claims that Opera Mini loads Facebook faster than UC browser 9.8 which is an older version. Running actual tests from a user’s perspective we found them to be loading at the same time. We found Opera for Android more intuitive than UC Browser as well but it has its own pros and cons there. Users who just browse the internet for information might opt for Opera Mini and for users who need more features Opera browser would be better.
UC Web who are actually into this business, launched their v9.9.2 for Android about a month back. It is one of the ‘lightest’ Android browser we have used till date. Here the term ‘lightest’ is relative to not just basic app size but also the experience which it offers. According to some reports by the company itself, their web browser is the fastest loading browser for Facebook for mobile. Soon opera came out with a test report from Cigniti Technologies which claimed Opera Mini is faster than UC browser 9.8 (old version) in loading speeds.
UC Browser offers the user an option for enhancing experience or reducing data consumption whichever suits his/her needs. Data consumption techniques are also found to be very aggressive. It has three different versions on the playstore – UC Browser, UC browser mini and UC Browser HD. So you can download the one which suits your needs and preferences.
Taking the new stock browser first, Google’s Android platform came with a built-in browser until Android 4.3 which was later replaced by Google Chrome. Chrome is an exceptionally popular desktop browser and the Mobile version was launched around 2 years back. Because of its Desktop performance, Chrome was instantly adopted over the stock browser which only got updates with the os upgrade.
It is quite fast, following the same technology as on Desktop like pre-loading webpages, maintaining huge chunks of cached data made the browsing experience better and sometimes with a heavy load but actually it was consuming more data than any web browser out there on mobile. Sometime ago, observing the red alerts Chrome has too integrated bandwidth management techniques like other third party browsers which helps in reducing data consumption but not so much.
Firefox for Android
The open sourced Android browser by Mozilla foundation, Firefox for Android is a dedicated mobile browser build by the community for the open sourced operating system. With add-on support and Firefox Sync this turns out to be a good option but it is still not able to match an ideal mobile browsing experience. There are some portions which needs improvement and we hope they do.
Dolphin Web Browser
Before any of the above mentioned browsers were fit for public use, this browser served the Android users perfectly. This has one of the closest browsing experience which Chrome provides now but the point to be noted here is it was launched an year or a two before Chrome arrived. Chrome is available for Android 4.0 and above while this served the Gingerbread community and even Froyo even after Chrome arrived. With plugins etc. it is still considered under top 5 browsers till date but looks like Chrome ate its audience on newer devices.
Once again the browsers are not listed in any chronological order as different users might like different browsers according to their needs & preferences. So which is you favorite browser for Android? Let us know by leaving a comment below.