If you have picked up a 4G phone recently, you might be wondering about the best ways to take advantage of the superfast connectivity that it offers. In fact you will probably feel entitled to be experiencing improved internet access as a result of your upgrade.
The mobile web browser you use can play a significant role in determining the slickness of this whole process and there are various options available. Some modern mobile HTML5 browsers are tied down to specific handsets and platforms, so for those who have yet to adopt a 4G smartphone, the performance of these programs might be a deal breaker. So which of the competing mobile browsers are the best and what makes them superior to the alternatives?
The proprietary web browser of the BB 10 operating system can be found on BlackBerry 4G phones including the Z10, Q10 and Q5. It is currently ranked as the top mobile browser by The HTML5 Test with a score of 485, which means that pages will load quicker and be rendered more smoothly on BlackBerry handsets than any other. As well as supporting the HTML5 standard, BlackBerry 10’s browser actually has Flash capabilities, which is increasingly unusual in the portable marketplace.
Buy the BlackBerry Q5 in red from mobiles.co.uk.
Apple’s Safari browser is found on its current iOS 6 platform, making its way into the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. With a rating of 386 it is not as quick as BB 10, but does come ahead of some key rivals such as the Windows Phone 8-based Internet Explorer 10.
Safari’s integration with iCloud means that you can synchronise browser tabs across multiple devices, which makes for a more cohesive browsing experience that lets you jump from smartphone to tablet to PC without breaking your flow or losing your place.
Chrome is now in its 25th iteration and is compatible with all Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean flavours of Google’s operating system. It is currently ranked fourth in terms of HTML5 performance and offers similar cross-device tab synchronisation to Safari, as well as a very clean interface that is easy to use. Tabs are assigned to cards which you can flip through and the hybrid address and search bar gives you instant results pulled down from Google for faster information access.
Firefox Mobile 22 is the third best browser in terms of raw speed and is also compatible with a variety of platforms and with solid cloud synching capabilities helping to enhance its usability. Firefox Mobile is also advertised as being one of the safest browsers available for smartphones, which might be a fact that comes into play whether you are trying to decide between Firefox or Chrome as your primary web portal. Of course if you own an Android handset like the Samsung Galaxy S4 you can download both Chrome and Firefox and experience them side by side to see which you prefer.
Internet Explorer 10
IE10 is exclusive to Windows Phone 8, which means you can access it from smartphones like the Nokia Lumia 925 and the HTC 8X. It is ranked just behind Safari in terms of speed, but does have the power to deal with HTML5 content well once it has been loaded.
Bing is the default search provider for IE10, which is a given since this is very much Microsoft’s ecosystem. Tab synching is unfortunately absent, although you can have quite a few pages open at the same time without overburdening the software.
Your favourite sites can be pinned to your phone’s homescreen so that you can jump straight to them without having to do any additional navigation, which is a nice touch that is not as easy to achieve on other browsers.
The best mobile HTML5 browser…
Current statistics suggest that BB 10 has the best browser at the moment, but only if you base that on speed and HTML5 phone performance. It is of course worth remembering that this software is only found on the BlackBerry Z10, Q10 and Q5.
Those who have a 4G iPhone 5 will probably stick with the Safari browser and Nokia Lumia 925 users will find Internet Explorer 10 to be their first port of call for web access. Only Android users have any real choice, so picking between Chrome and Firefox will have to come down to personal preference.