Internet Explorer dominated the desktop browser space for some time being the default browser on the most popular operating system. Things have changed drastically over the years and Chrome is the new browser king, and it is the default on the most popular operating system, Android. But Android has a lot of different browser options that are purpose specific and just different from the crowd. Some focused on privacy, some on a unique interface, some on functionality. Today we’ll take a look at 5 such unique web browsers for Android.
5 Unique Web Browsers for Android
1. Opera Touch
Ever since the Galaxy Note, phones have just been getting larger and larger. With Samsung’s Galaxy S8 going super-trim with the bezels and a taller aspect ration, phones have now been getting taller as well. To sum up, it is getting harder and harder to use a phone with one hand especially for people with smaller hands. Opera Touch is a unique browser that aims to solve this problem, at least when you’re browsing the net on your phone.
Most apps looking to solve this problem would simply move the navigation or controls at the bottom. Opera Touch does something like that but instead of a bar at the bottom, it has a single, Fast Action Button. You can swipe it in different directions to access actions such as searching, reloading, switching tabs, etc. It’s a bit like Pie navigation that you’d be familiar with if you’ve used custom ROMs in the past. It also has features like My Flow which let you share content between Opera on your desktop and Opera on your Android device.
2. Firefox Focus
It’s not a secret that Google collects data from every Google product you use. This is also true for Google Chrome and with the controversies Google is always surrounded in, it’s understandable if you are concerned about privacy. Not only Google but even giants such as Facebook and Microsoft have at some point been found to be disrespecting user privacy. Firefox Focus is Mozilla’s unique attempt at luring such privacy concerned internet surfers.
There’s no browsing history, tabs, a list of your most-visited websites, or similar features found on modern browsers. The browser itself collects nothing on you because it would be hypocritical if it did. You’re basically browsing Incognito with Firefox Focus but it is much better than Incognito. The browser doesn’t track you but it also prevents others from tracking you on the Internet. It lets you cover your tracks once you leave a website by obstructing trackers and cookies which would have otherwise monitored your browsing habits.
You can choose what you want to allow and what you don’t. For instance, you can disable analytic trackers and still keep cookies if you want. Since our review of Firefox Focus things have changed quite a lot including the addition of tabbed browsing.
3. Cake Web Browser
Just like Opera, Cake Web Browser is trying to improve upon the current generation of browsers. What’s unique here is that the focus here is on making searching on the web easier and more efficient. Cake Web Browser relies on the fact that Google Search has just gotten so good. These days, most things you search for on Google are usually among the top three search results. One hardly ever goes to the second page of Google Search results.
Therefore, Cake Web Browser directly shows you the webpage that is returned as the first result of a search, instead of showing you the search results that you probably don’t even look at before clicking the first link. Swipe to the right and you can view the second result. Swipe again and you can see the third, and so on. Cake preloads the first three results so you don’t have to wait for the pages to load and swiping between them is more seamless.
Say you’re searching for a product. With this manner of browsing, you get to compare prices between different website, simply swipes away. Cake Browser also offers dedicated product searches which show results from Google, Amazon, Walmart, Groupon, NexTag, Bizrate, Target, Overstock, eBay, and Jet. You can also similarly search for videos and images.
We’ve reviewed an earlier version of Cake browser that you can check out for more details.
4. Lynket Browser
Apps are great for smartphones but opening links from apps like Facebook or from something like Feedly, the Google app itself, is a pain. Google introduced custom Chrome tabs that lets an app open links within the app itself without sending the user to another app such as the browser. This sounds good but it isn’t. Have you ever opened a link on the Facebook app only to come back and find all the content has been refreshed? There are also times when you wish you could let a link open in the background while you browse through your feed. None of those problems are solved by custom Chrome tabs on Android.
Editor’s pick for you: Orfox – A Tor Browser for Android
Lynket Browser solves all of those problems though with a unique solution. All it asks is that you set it as the default browser. Lynket then slides over any Custom Tab you open to a separate window on your phone, letting you easily multitask between several of them. Even if you accidentally swipe something away, you can always launch the Lynket app and find it in your history. It can also launch custom tabs as floating bubbles like the Facebook Messenger Chatheads. The browser also has a reader mode and other browser things.
5. Kiwi Browser
So far the browsers we’ve mentioned have been nothing like Google Chrome. They may be unique but they’re definitely not going to convince you to ditch Google Chrome entirely. They’re more like that secondary browser for that special something. Kiwi though is so Google Chrome like you might actually let go of Google Chrome if you’re not into cross-platform syncing that is.
Kiwi is an open-source browser app for Android based on the latest Chromium Canary code which means it usually gets Chrome features before the stable version of Chrome. Other than that, Kiwi also offers speed improvements, background playback for YouTube and other websites, and better privacy features than Chrome. It is essentially a better version of Chrome, the Chrome you’ve always wanted, barring cross-platform or even cross-device syncing. That and it also lacks a data saver and the Google Translate functionality.
Related article: Microsoft Edge Browser Preview For Android (In-depth look)