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Android Options Mean "Best" Browsers Might Surprise You 251

An anonymous reader writes with this quote from Tom's Hardware: "Due to Apple's anti-3rd-party browser stance, and Windows RT's IE-only advantage on the 'Desktop,' Android is the only mobile platform where browser competition is thriving. The results are pretty surprising, with the long-time mobile browsers like Dolphin, Maxthon, Sleipnir, and the stock Android browser coming out ahead of desktop favorites like Firefox, Opera, and even Chrome. Dolphin, thanks to its new Jetpack HTML5 engine, soars ahead of the competition."
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Android Options Mean "Best" Browsers Might Surprise You

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  • by telchine ( 719345 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @10:30AM (#42203291)

    But seriously, these walled gardens make me long for the 90's, when you could sanction a company [wikipedia.org] for even *including* their own browser with an OS,

    The reasons those sanctions came about was because Microsoft had a near monopoly on the operating system market. None of the companies in the mobile space have a monopoly.

  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @10:41AM (#42203409) Journal
    the vast majority of Android users are people buying it because the phones are cheap. You mean low cost, not cheap. Android phones can do everything an iPhone or Windows Phone does, at a lower cost. So it is not cheap, it is a more valuable option for the customer. And the reason for that is because the underlying platform is more 'open' and less tightly controlled by a bunch of perverted sadists and corporate trolls.
  • Firefox & ABP+ (Score:5, Informative)

    by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @10:41AM (#42203427)
    In my usage I've generally found Firefox with ABP installed to be much faster than Browser & Chrome. Its amazing how much snappier sites are on arm processors when they don't load ads, and as an added bonus accidental clicks are eliminated.
  • by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @10:42AM (#42203437)

    It depends on what you mean by monopoly. IANAL, so I don't know the legal definition. But I would argue that Apple's approach to deciding the market on its devices is anti-competitive behavior.

    It's not just that browsers must wrap Safari. It's that they must use a crippled version of UIWebView, one that is much slower than Safari's Nitro engine. The result is that web pages take almost exactly double the time to load in other browsers.

  • by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @10:52AM (#42203549)

    Opera Mini (not to be confused with Opera Mobile, their actual browser) is called a "remote document viewer" or something because it goes through Opera's servers, which handle rendering, compression, etc. So at any time, Opera Mini only ever connects to Opera's servers as opposed to a web browser which will connect directly to the web host. It's a technicality only from the user's viewpoint... under the hood, they work fairly differently.

  • by CritterNYC ( 190163 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @10:56AM (#42203583) Homepage
    Not sure if trolling or clueless. On the off chance you are clueless, Apple doesn't permit competing browsers in their app store. They sneakily did this by banning all interpreted code (for 'security reasons'). That means no JavaScript. And a browser is mostly useless on the modern internet without JavaScript. So, the only thing you can do with a browser on iOS is to wrap Safari in a skin. But, surprise, Apple screws you there, too, because they give you a slower engine in that mode. So, every single browser on iOS is just a Safari skin and they all run slower than Safari. Hurray for Apple's walled garden. There is one exception in the app store, and that's Opera Mini. To get around this rule, Opera has a server farm in the cloud rendering pages and JavaScript and sending the results down to the Opera Mini clients. It's inefficient and doesn't work as well as a native browser, but it's the only way to "compete" with Apple. Oh yeah, and the whole Opera Mini client is designed for dumb phones that lack the power to run a real browser.
  • by Revotron ( 1115029 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @10:59AM (#42203617)

    ...and the stock Android browser coming out ahead of desktop favorites...

    You mean, people are picking the stock browser over mobile versions of Firefox or Google Chrome? Wow. What could possibly be the meaning of this? Let's deconstruct it and find the real truth in all this...

    Oh, here it is. It's a combination of No one cares and the mobile versions suck!

    Firefox and Chrome may be competitive browsers in the PC realm, but in their transition to mobile platforms, they're bringing over all that bloat and feature creep and trying to cram it all into a small screen. My Android smartphone has acceptable (but not ideal) battery life when I use the mobile browser for quick things here and there, but when I've tried to use mobile FF/Chrome apps it drops like a rock. I suppose if you sit there tethered into the wall jack you'd be fine, but at that point, why not just whip out your laptop?

  • Re:Huehuehuehue (Score:5, Informative)

    by R_Dorothy ( 1096635 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @11:59AM (#42204277)
    All third party iOS browsers are a skin over the same system level WebView compontent which is a less performant version of the stock Safari Webkit. Even Firefox on iOS is using Webkit. There's a good explanation here: http://www.mobilexweb.com/blog/axis-opera-mini-alternative-browsers-iphone-ipad [mobilexweb.com]
  • by GoogleShill ( 2732413 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:41PM (#42207085)

    Here's the best citation you can get: http://www.justice.gov/atr/cases/f3800/msjudgex.htm [justice.gov]

    There were TONS of things they did to violate antitrust laws with regards to IE, including coercing ISPs to make their websites IE-only by including ActiveX components on the front page and using FrontPage extensions which would create non-standards-compliant HTML and only render correctly on IE.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."