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Last week we went back to one of our traditional yearly polls, and asked you to choose which is the best desktop browser as of right now. With Firefox and Chrome being the big winners of previous years, 2014 definitely came as a surprise.

10,197 readers voted in this poll (thank you!), and these are the final results:

3% voted for Safari as the best browser, 19.5% think the title should go to Firefox, 21% voted for Opera, 23% think Chrome is the best desktop browser, and a very surprising 29.5% voted for Internet Explorer as the best browser currently available.

Whether it’s rallying their supporters to the poll or actually making a good browser, Microsoft seems to be doing something right!


Comment Of The Week

While Internet Explorer seems to have won the most number of votes, it’s almost entirely absent from the comments. Most of last week’s comments revolved around Firefox and Chrome, with a generous sprinkling of Opera and Maxthon. Several readers took the time to write useful and thought-provoking comments, but only one of them could win.


The winner of last week’s best comment is Resworb, who unlike the majority of the commenters, thinks the most important aspect of a browser is its looks. Definitely a refreshing viewpoint, and one that many of us tend to ignore despite how important it is. Resworb won with this comment Which Is the Best Desktop Browser? 2014 Edition [MakeUseOf Poll] Which Is the Best Desktop Browser? 2014 Edition [MakeUseOf Poll] Another year has gone by, what has changed in the browser scene? Have your loyalties changed? Let's find out! Read More :

For the last five years or so my choice of browser has been solely based on appearance. Firefox, Chrome and even IE (yes IE) have come leaps and bounds that they are so blisteringly fast that the different in speed is almost negligible (especially on low to mid-end internet connections). If anyone makes me a browser like Safari (or with Mac like font rendering and elegant interface), regardless of the engine it uses, that would be best browser choice. I feel that far too many developers forget the fact that most of spend a lot of time on our browsers and while reducing the amount of screen space they occupy makes it suitable for websites it would definitely be appealing if they would spend some time on UI design. My choice will always be “other” as long as there is something that looks unique or different.

Do You Prefer Paying For Apps Or Viewing Ads?

Love our t-shirts? The best comment in this poll will get one of our geeky t-shirts. That’s right, for free! So get commenting!

The age-old questions: money or ads? While many opt out of both by using ad blockers, this is not what today’s poll is about. Today we’d like to know whether you generally prefer paying for the mobile apps you use, or use them for free while viewing ads. Ads are very common in mobile apps, especially on Android, and it’s easy to get an ad-supported free version of almost any app. For some, however, ads are a reason all by itself to avoid an app. Where do you stand?

Hit the comments and share your thoughts about mobile ads. Are they the bane of your existence, or are they the only viable way for mobile app developers to make some money off their work?

Image Credits: Daniel Oines Via Flickr

  1. Nick
    March 9, 2014 at 7:03 am

    I prefer the games with the in-app purchase to disable ads. Then just download and use a tweak from cydia to get the in-app purchase for free.

  2. Jo-anne P
    February 26, 2014 at 1:31 am

    As I have mentioned in previous posts I just got a smartphone and tablet on Black Friday of this past year. Talk about a learning curve. I previously had a plain Jane Nokia flip phone with the teeny tiniest screen ever lol.

    Entering the world of apps was both exciting and terrifying. When I purchased my phone the gentleman prattled on and on about what apps are out there and what I just "must have". Of course I was still in the first stage mode, I had a shiney new smartphone in my hand with lots of cool stuff on it so all I really heard from him was a blah, blah apps, blah blah must have, blah blah google play, blah blah free.

    Now I had been in a contest over the summer involving Kit Kat, an Ipad and google play. I never won an Ipad but I did win $35 dollars in the google play store. (I still can't find the money lol or figured out the account end... I love life and electronics, everything is such an adventure!)

    So to continue with my story, at the time the google play store meant nothing to me, but I won something woohoo right? After I got over the excitement and terror of my new toys it was time to jump into this app thing. Now my phone came with a whole whack load of apps and my first thoughts were .. I have plenty who needs more.. pfft me me me.

    I downloaded a lot of stuff and learned what was supported on my tablet (Kobo Arc) and what the heck Android was all about. I got instagram, Vine, 4square, twitter, FB well you get the picture.

    I love instagram but I was stumped. There were contests out there and I needed to repost. How the heck do you repost. I googled and asked and most responses were :if you are on an iphone, ipad...: so I kept plugging away. I finally found an app called PhotoRepost that allows me to repost an Instagram post. This was also my first experience with a Free with Ads. vs a Pay for it app.

    When I was using it questions would pop up all the time. Do you like this app? Do you want to upgrade? I used it for a few days and decided for the little I use it no I do not want to upgrade. I have since discovered some apps that yes I love.

    One in particular shows me all the non followers on my Twitter so that I can unfriend and it also has ads and additional features that I wanted. I was very happy to put out the money. Everytime I unfollow someone I smile and snicker while saying under my breath, "teach you to not follow me back, see later. click unfollow" to me worth every penny.

    If I like it and am going to use it more than a few times a year then I have no issue paying for it. They have to make money too and someone was brilliant enough to write it so why not contribute to the circle of life.. err I mean finance.

    So to answer your question (sorry about the novel) I don't mind the ads but I think it only fair to pay for something if I am going to use it on a regular basis.

  3. A41202813GMAIL
    February 25, 2014 at 7:15 am

    I Always Prefer Adds.

    Time I Got Plenty, Money Not So Much.


  4. Leah
    February 24, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I don't mind paying for an app if it's something I know I'm going to use a lot, but for the most part I don't mind ads to get the app for free. It's not like I have to sit through 3 minute commercial breaks every five minutes or so. So far the ads I've encountered on apps aren't so bad. Some can be annoying like they come at inopportune times, but they're easy to click out of and get on with the game.

  5. Ashok K
    February 24, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    I really don't like ads but it's OK if the ad is displayed for few seconds when I launch the app and then disappears. But that too depends on what app I'm using. If some ads are showing when i'm say using a music app it's ok but I would rather use a ad free app for note-taking even if it's not the best in it's class.

  6. Drew
    February 24, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Good to know - I'm about to release a game that is free with an in-app purchase to disable ads. Glad I'm on the right side of this poll!

  7. Patrick Lalande
    February 24, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Ads or no ads makes no difference but how the ads are propagated is.

    I will pay for apps that provide a value to me but only when I can see the value. If a developer can't display ads in a free version that doesn't interfere with the discover of value he has no chance of ever getting me to buy the paid version. The same goes for the purpose, form and function of an app.

  8. Ulpi E
    February 24, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I don't pay anything for apps... My tablet and phone are expensive enough... :D

  9. prasad
    February 24, 2014 at 10:35 am

    This question is like
    You do chatting on facebook so facebook gets money!
    The current industry works only with ad's eventhough they mention they will stop popping ad's if you pay them they will introduce a new version which you might like but again you need to buy.

  10. Joshua J
    February 23, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    I guess these polls can be easily hacked if IE won ;-P

    I hate ads and in app purchases in apps, more and more every day. I'd rather pay the actual price once and have everything unlocked then either of the other two options. That being said, I don't mind the third alternative, the ad supported lite version, and the full paid version. That way everyone can pick the version they want.

  11. Hildy J
    February 23, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    I am more than happy to pay for an app rather than have ads waste my time and bandwidth. That said, I do wish there was a more active open source community for Android. I miss the Palm Pilot ecosystem that was filled with apps somebody wrote to solve their own problem and then released to the community for free.

  12. Sarah
    February 23, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    I definitely like the "pay to remove ads" method, or giving a demo or lite version with limited capabilities or a time limit. If there's no demo version available, I'm likely to pirate an APK and make my own demo before handing over my cash based solely on some screenshots.

    I've gotten stung on a few somewhat expensive apps because they had no lite version, so I ponied up the few bucks to buy them, then they didn't meet my expectations, didn't work well on my devices, just felt bad to use, etc. It's no fun to waste money.

    I'll happily hand over a few bucks for an app I know I'll like and use a lot, but a lot of the more expensive apps don't even offer demos.

    That said, it disappoints me a little that some of my favorite apps (ahem, Cleaner Master) don't offer a "take the ads away" option.

  13. bill
    February 23, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Just block the ads! I don't mind purchasing an app directly, but I refuse to give google my credit card.

  14. Cutler C
    February 23, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    As an aspiring game developer, I have a different opinion of ads. For a developer to make money, ads are an necessary evil to make a little money for their hard work from the users who don't want to pay for the app. As long as the ads don't get in the way of app features, and don't popup after a game session, I see them as okay.
    One major problem with mobile apps today is the full screen ads that have a stylized, tiny, hard to tap close button. This ad gets in the way of the app itself and the increase in revenue is only useful if you give the user points or coins to watch it fully. Doing so, I would say it should be an option for users to choose if they want to see one of those ads and get some coins.
    The option to pay to have the ads removed is one of the smartest ideas there is. Not only does the developer get payed, but the user doesn't see ads if they don't want to. If the user is fine with ads that don't get in the way, then ads pay the developer still!

    • Keefe K
      February 23, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      I agree. When I buy apps or games on any mobile platform, I have no idea how it's going to perform, or even if I'm going to like it. So trying out a free version makes me feel more confident to actually download the app in the first place. Ads are necessary for me to try it out risk-free, and then decide whether to purchase it, if I really like it. The only problem is if the ads get in the way of the interface, or somehow mess it up. Like for instance, I've seen apps whose ads cover the buttons or interface necessary for you to use the app. It's important for the developer to pay attention to these small details, as this will affect the decision on whether people will buy it. If ads are constantly in the way, then the consumer may just delete it, and find another application.

  15. Ramandeep S
    February 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Ads are always annoying. If one really like an app and have 'money' the app should be purchased. It unlocks some paid-only features and remove ads.

  16. Saikat B
    February 23, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Ads also cause battery drain -- 23% as one study found out for Windows Mobile apps. I don't imagine the situation is any different for others OSs. I would rather go with a quality paid app. It's less than a price of a coffee as they say.

  17. Rocco
    February 23, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    I understand ads will be included in plenty of free apps, and I don't complain as long as it's done correctly. Badlands is a good example: play a few levels and sit through a 15-30 second ad. It doesn't have to jump around and get in the way, or be a regular banner at the bottom, which I cannot stand, as I believe it takes away the actual app visually that the developer worked so hard on.

  18. Alan
    February 23, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    I like having a choice. I will usually try out an ad supported app, but if I like the app I will pay for it. The only add supported apps that remain on my phone for more than a couple of weeks are those with no pay option that are either dramatically better than their paid competition or there is no paid competition.

  19. Rick
    February 23, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    First off, even though I really like free apps, I certainly don't think there is anything wrong with a developer wanting to make a few dollars for his time, effort, and knowledge to create a good app. That said, I absolutely despise ads in apps. If it's an app I use infrequently, and the ads are not overly large, distracting, or otherwise annoying, I usually just grudgingly live with them. But if it's one of my favorite or most used apps - or if it's just REALLY good - then I'll probably pay to remove them. On a similar note, and even if there are no ads on the free version, I also use basically the same thought process to decide whether or not to by a premium version of an app. If it's really good, or adds features I like and can actually use, I'll probably show the developer a little support.

  20. Mike Rhodes
    February 23, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Consistency is also important. If I pay for an ad-free app, then I expect updates and upgrades to be add-free if the original app is add free.

    Consider Bejeweled by PopCap (now owned by EA). I paid 5 dollars ( or thereabouts) for that app. Pretty average for a game. Especially for an HD version. Then last year it updated and imagine my surprise that it's now infested with ads. With the iOS ecosystem being what it is, there's no way I can downgrade to the ad free version. I'm stuck with an app that I paid for and have to endure ads inside. Fortunately, the ads are placed in such an odd position that I can't really see them as I'm left handed and while playing, my left hand covers the postage-stamp sized ad.

    There was no indication that the update contained ads.

    I refuse to pay yet another time to make it "ad free" which probably will last until the next "upgrade" and then I'll be expected to pay twice again for the removal of ads.

    As much as I really like the game, I don't play it any more. Now with some apps i do use, like the weather app, there's ads in them and that's fine as the app is free. Or like the calculator app that has ads, and I gladly paid a buck or so to make it ad-free. That's fair and everything was upfront and honest.

    Unlike the shaft I got with Bejeweled from PopCap/EA. They've lost any trust or respect I may have had for them.

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