Today, we’re going to decide which mobile Internet browsers is the best out there. After much research, I have narrowed it down to the top two, the Opera Mini and SkyFire browsers. If you’re tired of your mobile device’s stock browser, these are more than capable alternatives.
In this article, I am going to cover what these mobile Internet browsers have to offer, detailing their key features, supported operating systems, and whatever else I can find to be useful for all of your mobile browsing needs.
[Note]: Last year, Jeffry gave us 5 Mini Browsers For Mobile Phones, so mobile browsing has been a viable topic for some time now. If you really want to explore the past, check out Aibek’s Browsing Web on your Mobile Phone article from April of 2008. Mobile devices have changed dramatically since this time, so let’s explore what’s changed in mobile browsing.
- Windows Mobile
- Java phones
The Opera Mini browser, which we covered back in May, is easily one of the best alternatives out there. It supports almost every mobile device you can think of, including everything made by Blackberry, Apple, Google, and Windows. It is one of the better mobile browsers in general and it has some great features.
The browser supports tabs, synchronization of bookmarks, speed dials, integrated search engines, saved pages for offline viewing, and password management. Also, Opera Mini uses only a tenth of the bandwidth of other browsers, compressing webpages by up to 90%. This can save you time and money, especially if you’re on a per-usage mobile data plan.
As you can see, the Opera Mini has a very simplistic layout with a lot of added functionality. If your mobile device is touch screen, you can take advantage of scrolling and zooming features as well. This is very useful if you like to have multiple tabs open at one time.
You can view all of Opera Mini’s (and Opera Mobile’s) features here.
- Windows Mobile
- Nokia/Symbian (Series 60)
The SkyFire mobile Internet browser has come a long way since we first covered it back in December 2008. It supports bookmarks, pinch-to-zoom, and visual multi-tab browsing, for starters. Tabbed scrolling is very similar to the Safari browser on the iPhone, and you can scroll between up to 8 screens.
With its new SkyBar (SkyFire 2.0), the browser will catch flash videos on a given page, giving you the option to watch them in full screen. That’s right, SkyFire plays flash web video.
If that’s not enough to interest you, SkyFire enables you to see related videos, trends, tweets, and images linked to the pages you’re viewing. There is a built-in option that allows you to toggle between a website’s mobile site and the regular, full site. You can also share articles on Facebook and Twitter with this browser.
To see some of the features of SkyFire 2.0 for Android, check out this video:
To download SkyFire, select your device and follow the instructions here.
This article was originally going to be about the top 5 or 10 mobile Internet browsers out there, but other browsers simply couldn’t match up to these two juggernauts. The default mobile browsers that come with our cell phones, like Safari and IE, are good but not supported by other devices (for obvious reasons).
If I had to pick a winner, I would go with the Opera Mini browser here, although SkyFire has taken huge strides and is getting better all the time. It will be interesting to see which mobile browser tops my list once all the other big names (like Firefox) start catching up and are supported by more and more devices.
What is your favorite mobile browser? Do you have any opinion you would like to share? Leave a comment below and get the debate started!