Your Android tablet comes pre-installed with a browser that, for most, is a clean and efficient way to access webpages. It certainly does the job well, but there are many instances when you might need something else, maybe more speed or options, so you’ll be looking into alternatives. There’s a variety of both first and third-party Android browser, including the well-received Chrome for Android.
In this roundup, we’ll take a look at a handful of the tablet-optimised browsers available for you on the Google Play store.
Chrome for Android is, of course, Google’s own alternative browser and one that was met with significant acclaim when it was first released as a beta.
It brings a nice, intuitive interface with tabs that, if nothing else, makes tablet web browsing feel more on par with desktop browsing and that’s what pushes Chrome for Android to pole position in this roundup.
Of course, Chrome for Android brings notable features from the desktop to your tablet, such as Incognito mode for browsing privately without leaving a trace and the syncing of your open tabs, bookmarks and omnibox data between platforms — including desktop and even iOS.
Price: Free Requires: Android Varies with device Google Play Link:Chrome Developer:Google Inc.
Opera Mobile is another Android iteration of a popular desktop browser, claiming to be “the premium web experience” on mobile devices.
It shares a similar design to Opera on desktop, which regular users and fans will appreciate. It also boasts Opera Link for synchronising bookmarks, Speed Dials and other data between platforms.
Also available is Opera Mini, a slightly different and lighter version of Opera that reduces data consumption by compressing webpages before serving them to you, saving you money and bandwidth consumption on your mobile data plan. The tough decision is having to choose between Mobile and Mini.
Much like Chrome and Opera, Mozilla’s Firefox for Android is the mobile equivalent of the popular desktop browser. Firefox for Android boasts speed, advanced security and a Reader Mode to optimise pages away from their clutter default.
In what is becoming a fairly generic feature of these browsers, Firefox also offers syncing features for browser history, bookmarks, passwords and tabs between platforms, so everything stays up-to-date and in sync.
Price: Free Requires: Android 2.2 or above Google Play Link:Firefox Developer:Mozilla
Dolphin Browser for tablets is a replacement browser designed specifically for the tablet’s larger screen, featuring a Chrome-esque tabbed interface that feels more akin to desktop browsing than mobile.
Dolphin, as a platform, is also customisable, allowing you to “beef up” your installation with add-ons and manipulate the visual presentation of the app with themes.
Dolphin Browser also lets users customise how they navigate and use the app by creating custom gestures for specific actions, such as going back or forward between browsed pages. If you fancy a bit more customisability in your browser, Dolphin Browser for tablets might just be for you!
Maxathon Web Browser for your 10″ tablet is yet another alternative browser using the now-generic tabs-at-the-top interface that became popular with Chrome.
Much like Dolphin, Maxathon includes an ever-growing choice of skins allowing users to customise and style their experience. Plus, as is evidently the norm with such alternative browsers, offers syncing functionality with a desktop counterpart.
OverSkreen is another alternative browser, but is a little more unique than any other featured on this list.
Unlike the standard, one-window views of the other browsers on this list, OverSkreen is a so-called “floating browser” that floats on top of your open application or homescreen in a kind of PiP mode. Furthermore, it allows users to open multiple webpages and organise them much like desktop windows side-by-side.
Outside of it’s unique selling point, OverSkreen features everything you’ve come to expect in a good replacement browser, such as private browsing and syncing with a desktop browser (in this case, Overskreen can sync bookmarks with your Chrome installation!).
If the default stock browser that ships on your Android tablet isn’t doing it for you, hopefully this roundup has inspired you to pick up a new one. While they all have some pretty common themes (ie syncing with the desktop), most have some stand-out unique features. OverSkreen, for example, can certainly be useful at times and will be a welcome addition to most Android tablet users.
If you’re using an alternative browser, what is your preference? If not, does this list make you want to try some of the alternatives?