The web browser is an extremely important part of your phone, and for most people that’s probably where a good chunk of time gets spent on any device. Sure, apps more popular and offer a better experience (and we’re starting to see many companies push for app installations over web views) but the web browser is still a completely functional feature, especially for simple web searches or browsing, or if you just need to look at a certain site that you don’t shop often enough to justify an app installation.
With that being said, some browsers are better than others. All Android devices ship with a default internet browser, and most of them also come pre-loaded with Google’s own fantastic Chrome browser. For many people, one of those two apps will be more than functional enough. But for some people that are looking for a slightly different experience because they want something a little faster, or maybe something that integrates with a different ecosystem that isn’t Google’s, there are plenty of other solid options available, and that’s where this guide comes in. We’re going to go over some of the best available replacement web browsers to test out on your Android device.
It looks like your smartphone could have yet another pre-installed application on it, as Opera today announced that its data-saving application Opera Max can now be found installed on handsets from 14 OEMs. After today’s announcement, Opera is expecting to see Opera Max on over 100 million Android-based smartphones by 2017. That’s an impressive number, but just how useful will Opera Max be to consumers? Or will it be shoved away in a folder somewhere, along with the other masses of bloatware?
Opera Software, developer of the Opera browser, has announced the company may go up on the sales block “in response to strategic interest in the company from a number of parties.” Even if the company is not sold, the board is considering other forms of partnership as they commence a “strategic review” with the help of Morgan Stanley International and ABG Sundal Collier during the second half of 2015. It is unclear whether there is a connection, but Opera Software also released second-quarter revenue results which missed forecasts by analysts and they had to cut their full-year expectations. Read more
After using a mobile browser for some time, you may notice a slight drop in speed and performance, particularly due due to cache, cookies, and history. It can get even worse if you don’t have the luxury of HSPA+ or even LTE speeds, as 3G and 4G networks can be subject to a lot of hang ups and sometimes even disconnects.
No one wants to deal with slow Internet speeds, though. When trying to access information quickly, it can get severely frustrating, especially when you’re trying to share a video with a friend, only to be met with the annoying loading indicator. Fortunately, there are a couple of handy ways to speed up your mobile browsing, regardless of what type of network you’re on.
The HTC Myst (or Opera, depending on how far back you keep up with these phones) has recently come through the FCC, and it’s sporting four LTE bands that AT&T smartphones are generally seen with. Aside from that, the only other concrete details from this filing are dual-band WiFi antennas and Bluetooth 4.0. Nothing exciting, but at least we know the phone is more than just rumor. Of course, if the earlier rumors are true, the phone will have a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus clocked at 1.5 GHz under a 4.3 inch, 720p screen, as well as 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage, but no SD card slot. There’s nothing here that’s going to excite the enthusiast chasing the cutting edge of technology, but I think it’s a safe bet that’s not going to be the primary demographic of this phone.
Opera certainly has a lot going for it as one of the top mobile browsers in the world. Hot off the heels of rumors speculatating it would bring what should be a revolutionary web browser in the immediate future, Opera has announced it officially has 300 million users, effectively making it among the most widely used mobile web browsers in the entire world:
“300 million marks the first lap, but the race goes on.On the final stretch up to 300 million users, we have experienced the fastest acceleration in user growth we have ever seen. Now, we are shifting into the next gear to claim a bigger piece of the pie in the smartphone market.”
In addition to hitting the milestone, Opera has also confirmed its “Ice” project which is expected to be a massively improved WebKit-based browser. Its R&D team has spent an extraordinary amount of time ensuring “Ice” operated at an optimal level for users. Of course it is mum on further details, but it has highlighted that it will be showcased at MWC 2013, so we’re going to see what all the hubbub is about in a shade under a few weeks.
Hit the break to catch the presser for additional details.
It appears as though Opera is preparing to release an entirely new mobile browser for Android tablets and smartphones next month. According to Pocket-Lint, Opera Ice will feature baked in WebKit functionality, something the company’s previous offerings have noticeably lacked.
Like we’ve grown accustomed to with other browsers, Opera Ice will be relying heavily on gestures for controlling key aspects of navigation. The redesigned browser will also feature tabs in the form of icons on the homepage, allowing users to easily access their favorite sites. Read more
With all the options Android users have for browsers, from Firefox to Dolphin to Chrome, it’s still not that surprising that the most used is the stock Android browser that comes pre-installed on most Android devices. But how does it stack up over all mobile browsers on all platforms? Apparently, very well, according to the latest statistics report from analytics firm StatCounter.
The Android browser has finally taken the lead over its competitors this month with a 22.67% share, and is now the top mobile browser in the world. Opera comes in a close second at 21.7%, followed by Apple’s 21.06%. This is a 2.47% increase over last year, when the Android browser ended up at 20.2%. Opera dropped from last year’s 24.22%, while Apple’s Safari browser increased from December’s 18.41%.
Nokia came in next at 11.24%, followed by Blackberry at 6.53%, but each is generally trending downward, the latter’s chart looking like a good hill to sled down. Check out the chart after the break.