5 Best iOS Browsers in 2019
When the first iPhone hit the stores in 2007, one of its undoubtable pros was a built-in Safari browser, probably the best one for all the mobile devices at that time. Unlike Internet Explorer or Opera for Windows Mobile (let alone Symbian), it could display pages virtually as the big brothers did. That was stunning for 2007. In 2019 it’s not enough, and there are enough third-party browsers to do some research on the best Safari alternatives on the market.
What do we want from a mobile browser? It should render pages correctly, handle embedded media properly, have its own download manager (for iPhone, yes – that’s what we lacked in 2007), store passwords and bookmarks, and do all the work desktop browsers do. Last but not least: it must provide seamless integration with its desktop kin. That’s why the names of iOS browsers on our list will mostly be familiar.
And so off we start with the one that true Apple fans may dislike for the very fact it exists.
It’s the most popular browser in the world, for each and every platform, and iPhone is no exception. Those on Macs may prefer Safari for its better integration, but if you use Google Chrome as your primary browser on your desktop, it’s logically the choice for your mobile. The benefit you have on installing it is having all your collected bookmarks, all your saved passwords, all your logged history transferred directly to your iPhone. All you need to do is install Google Chrome Mobile and enter your Google credentials. It can even sync your open tabs with those in Chrome on Mac, via iCloud.
It lets you enjoy most Google features, like its translator, voice search, incognito mode, Gmail integration, and so on. Like its desktop versions since the very start, Chrome offers its Omnibox as the field for both URLs and search requests. You can also enter Settings and handle your stored passwords, credit cards, cookies, and other privacy options the way you do on desktops.
Alas, iOS version lacks data saving mode that Chrome for Android has, and Reader Mode is yet to be introduced too. As for night mode, it will probably appear soon after iOS 13 gets rolled out to most actual devices.
If we imply that seamless integration with desktop experience matters, Mozilla Firefox is the one to follow Chrome. Mozilla was here before Chrome was even announced, and it was the one to oppose Internet Explorer hegemony along with Opera.
The key features you’ll love about Firefox Mobile are just the same that Chrome offers. The browser stores your passwords, bookmarks, and history in the cloud, and then, when you authorize on Mozilla Firefox for iPhone, it downloads and decrypts this data. So you’ll enjoy virtually the same experience you had on your desktop, regardless of platform: it could have been Windows, OS X, or even Linux. All you need for that is to remember login and password of your Mozilla account.
Besides that, Firefox for iOS has all it takes to become your favorite. Its iOS version is even better than Google Chrome in some ways. Say, it lets you protect your password with TouchID or FaceID, letting you browse more securely. The Reader view Chrome lacks still available in Firefox.
Firefox also offers its super protected Focus browser as an option for private browsing on iOS. Alas, it’s not the one to recommend: so far it’s pretty basic.
No wonder that the trio of iOS browser alternatives is complete with Opera, one of the most popular mobile browsers ever. The version for iOS is called Opera Touch, and that puts an end to that endless confusion between Mini, Mobile, Mini Java, and other numerous versions so hard to deal with.
Opera Touch has all it takes to make a perfect option for mobile devices. You may select Chrome or Firefox, or stay with Safari, for integration with the desktop version. But Opera, with its Flow technology, takes it to the new level. You can connect your PC with Opera installed to your iPhone and share any content, from links and media to your notes, across your devices. It only takes scanning a QR code on your screen; no need for entering a password and a login.
It has a built-in ad blocker, an antimining module, a dialogue blocker, and – yes! – Its own dark theme. No need to wait until it goes system. Fast dial, regular and private tabs are also here. So, Opera Touch is your best browser for iOS, unless you have a special reason to prefer any of those above or below.
This guest from Android is made to be a great standalone mobile browser. If syncing with desktop isn’t your priority, this one is a good option. It was one of the first browsers to offer gesture-based controls, so less screen space is given to controls. It’s so strong that you can even assign certain gestures to open certain pages from your bookmarks or enter certain options.
Well, there is even more to non-button controls. If you’re ready to pay for Pro version of the browser, you can buy Sonar extension, letting you shake your iPhone to navigate, search or share links. And if you like it but still need syncing with other browsers, you can use Dolphin Connect to import your settings from Google clouds.
It’s also well-protected by gestures, TouchID or FaceID, and offers custom themes. Of course, iOS restrictions matter, but still the developers recreated the Dolphin Browser we loved on Android.
It was hard to select the fifth candidate, but if you want the most private browser for iOS, Onion is the option. It’s the mobile version of Onion for desktop, making it the fourth mobile spinoff on our list. Powered by Tor network, it uses onion anonymization. That means you can use it to access sites banned in your country or locked for certain countries only by their administrators. You can also visit .onion sites, not available in other browsers. We suppose you are not installing Onion Browsers for any illegal purposes.
Your traffic under Onion Browser is also protected, making it harder for prying eyes to access where you have been, who you have seen, and who you let in. Of course, it slows downloading and opening pages, but that’s the only price to pay.
In other ways, it’s a good regular browser, maybe not the one to be your default. Well, then you can use Safari when you’re not visiting anything that requires Onion.
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Of course, there are more browsers worth mentioning, like Ghostery, tracking who’s tracking you, or Puffin, with its instant loading engine. But there’ll be lots to explore anyway, and we hope there is one among these five browsers to satisfy most of your needs.