The browsing experience is no different on an iPhone than it is on a Mac, at least as far as having multiple options other than Safari. iPhone has set its native browser to be Safari, just like the Mac, but like the desktop version, the mobile version isn’t always the best option for everything you want to do. Browsers come with so many different bells and whistles that it’s natural to want to customize your browsing experience to support everything you want to do with it.
That’s the knock against the Safari browser on iPhone. While the desktop version of Safari keeps being revised to include a lot of interesting features such as a graphic showing your top sites and Cover Flow, the mbile version used on iPhone has made very limited changes since its inception.
Thankfully there are other iPhone browsers out there that are better and came with fun and useful options.
While Firefox and Google Chrome don’t have apps for the iPhone, Opera does. Opera has its own verison of top sites, Speed Dial. It shows nine easily adjustable sites in the view. It also allows you to sync your bookmarks with your desktop version of Opera.
This one also has a Speed Dial type of favorites menu. Plus, it works directly with Dropbox to transfer downloaded files through Dropbox. However, with the files I’ve tried, it didn’t send it to a download menu and just opened up the attachment for viewing instead. It has a lot of other extras, though, with a quick sharing menu to go straight to Facebook, Twitter, or Email, the ability to browse privately, themes, and more.
It’s a very basic browser, but still sems to offer more than Safari. One feature is AR mobile. It allows you to utilize the cameras to view your surroundings while you type and browse the Internet. It also has a very unique way to set and save tabs, allowing you to input the addresses in large tabs to flip through, instead of mini tabs that get confusing.
4. Vanilla Surf
The tabbing functions in Vanilla Surf allow you to manipulate them in much the same way you would on a desktop browser. You can control whether new tabs and links open in a new tab or same tabs, easily Clear History and Clear Cookies, and also to surf privately.
While Mercury has private browsing as an option, that’s the standard function of this browser. It forgets your sites visited, passwords, etc., upon exit. If you do private browsing as a rule, you might want to consider this one. However, it has no other big extras.
The main function of Secret Browser is the same as Private Browser, to keep your browsing history known to you and no one else. Additionally, it has small ads at the bottom as it works to keep it free. But you can also remove the ads if you pay for the app.
7. 360 Lite
This one is really unique. It has two separate dials that include many of the options. Ideally, by having the options in these pop-up dials, it can make them quicker to access than paging through windows. However, it can take some getting used to.
Compare these browsers to Safari, and you’ll find Safari literally has nothing extra. The problem is that while the iPhone allows you to add all these great browsers, it doesn’t allow you to set them as the default browser. The only way to do that is by doing a hack. If you don’t want to jeopardize your phone in that manner, you can still use these other browsers; you just can’t go straight from clicking a link in an email to having it go live in your alternate browser.