Google have just launched Chrome beta onto the Google Play store, available to download right now. No, you haven’t travelled back in time. Unlike earlier this year, when the beta was the only available option, this re-release is alongside the stable version so that you can have a choice of which version you want to download.
YuleTube is a new browser extension which replaces any profanities in the comment section of YouTube with festive words, like Rudolph, Elves and Gift-Giving. The comments section on YouTube is rarely a place to find smart and intellectual thoughts, but many people take it to a whole new level by publish profanities based at the uploader, the video and it’s viewers.
It’s been a tough couple of years for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. Despite having good reviews and a catchy song for their advertisements, the old-favourite became old news, forfeiting the number one spot to Google Chrome a while back.
Since getting my iPad back in November, Safari has been my number one browser. I’m usually one to change the default applications on my phones, for example I used Opera on my Nokia n95. However there never seemed anything wrong with safari, it does everything pretty well while sporting the Apple design which made me opt for the iPad in the first place.
In the last year or so, there have been many browser additions to the App Store. Some good, some bad and some are blatant copies of already released applications. But which are the best iPad browsers?
Best iPad Browsers: Chrome
Chrome is one of the biggest names in handheld web surfing right now. The beta version was released for Android at the start of this year and it was released on iPhone and iPad last month. The thing that makes Google Chrome so appealing is that you are using a piece of software which is also available on PC. It syncs perfectly well with previously visited sites, bookmarks etc, and you can even open the page you were just visiting on your tablet, mobile or PC.
Chrome is the most used browser on desktop right now, which means anybody with a mobile or tablet has or will try out the mobile version as it means that they can tie all of their web surfing information together. However, Google Chrome for iPad doesn’t really offer much that Safari doesn’t already. It has an incognito mode bud Safari has this feature in the settings menu. In fact one of the only improvements is that it looks like Chrome, which personally I’m not fussed about. Safari doesn’t look bad at all.
Best iPad Browsers: Dolphin
Dolphin Browser has been around for quite a long time. It’s been a favourite of mine on Android since getting my Xperia Arc in April 2011. Since then, it’s had a UI change and has added a lot of new features, it has also been released on iOS.
Dolphin has a design similar to Google Chrome, complete with an omnibar and an easy to use tabbed interface, however Dolphin prides itself on unique features. My favourite feature of Dolphin is the ability to go to a website or issue a command by drawing a gesture. For example, I have it set so that when I draw a ‘G’, I get directed to Geeks Have Landed. Installed by default are command gestures, such as drawing a back arrow to go back to a previous page. When I installed it, I never thought I would use the gestures as it seemed like a bit of a gimmick, but it works well which makes it a pleasure to use.
Pages load fast, the interface is recognisable to use and it has features which make it unique, but the one thing that keeps me from using Dolphin on iPad is the green colour scheme. I’m not sure who was in charge of design when creating the application, but the bright green browser looks tacky compared to it’s competitors.
Best iPad Browsers: Kikin
I was recently drawn to Kikin following it’s promotion on RedmondPie, and have been using it for the past few days. Kikin is yet another iPad browser which features a UI almost identical to Chrome. It has an omnibox and a tabbed bar across the top, both of which are features were made recognisable by Google. But Kikin isn’t a complete copy, as it has features which make it unique.
The main feature of Kikin is that it can take a word from any web page and give you relevant information based around that word. For example, if you were to hold down on a word in an article that you didn’t understand, it would come up with web pages similar to that word and also give you a definition. If you hold down the name of a film, it will come up with reviews of that title. These are just some of the ways that you can use the feature.
Kikin also has some extra little features which make it a true competitor on the App Store, for example the ability to go to full screen mode, a feature which isn’t available on Chrome.
The Winner: Safari
Safari was a browser I was originally going to leave out of this little competition when I decided to begin writing it last week. But the more and more I tested out different browsers from around the web, the more I got frustrated that each of them missed a feature that only Safari had…opening links from other sources. Of course, this is Apple’s fault. They have made it so that you have to open links in emails and applications in Safari. By being so demanding they have given Safari the edge over each of their competitors, no matter how well the others work.
However, if you are desperate to try out something other than Safari, I would recommend trying each of the above out. Chrome is good if you use it elsewhere, Kikin is really useful for learning things as you browse, and Dolphin works really well provided you can put up with the green design.
Best iPad Browsers: Dual Browser
I managed to snap Dual Browser up when it was still free, and have found quite a lot of use for it in the last few weeks. Dual browser isn’t really an application you would use for all your web browsing, because you don’t need to look at more than one website at a time unless you are working or comparing something. But it advertises itself and a browser and in it’s own league it’s a very good one. It just shouldn’t replace any others.
If you’ve been using the Android operating system for some time, you’ll be no stranger to Dolphin Browser. The mobile web surfing application boasts a user interface similar to the desktop version of Google Chrome, and uses drawing gestures to load web pages and perform tasks. But today, Dolphin has a new claim to fame as the Fasts HTML 5 Browser currently available for Android.
Dolphin Engine Beta is the version of the web browser, and is currently only available through the direct link on their website (and below). So what does this version do that’s different?
“Dolphin Engine (in Beta) is an improved webkit version with extensive canvas enhancement and behind-the-scenes technology that makes it the highest performing HTML5 browser available today.”
How fast? Dolphin Engine’s HTML-5 Rendering is:
5-10X faster than the default Android browser 100% faster than Chrome (at times) Scored over a 450 when tested on HTML5test.com.
If you are new to Android, or just haven’t had the opportunity to try out Dolphin yet, you should definitely give it a go. If not for the amazing user-friendly interface, the gesture control or the extremely fast speed, then how about Sonar? A voice controlled way of searching demonstrated in the video below.