As most of you will know, every new Apple device, whether that be an iPhone or an iPad, comes with Safari preinstalled as the default web browser. Now, as with Internet Explorer on all Windows computers for the last couple of decades and more, this may be fine for most users.
In fact, from speaking to a few people recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that most people aren’t even aware that there is even an alternative when it comes to browsing the web. Safari is just the app you use to access the Internet, as with Apple’s own music or email app.
As such, I always try to educate others as to the possibilities of third party apps on just about every platform – this can be particularly important when it comes to web browsers, because IE for example was always less secure than, say, Firefox or Chrome and would leave some users open to threats.
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Safari Alternatives for iPad
This can also be the case with Safari, so it’s worth checking out some of the alternatives even if you don’t actually make that jump and switch from Safari. We look at some of the best Safari alternatives on the iPad, right here.
8. Sleipnir (Free)
One of our favorite browsers on the iPad at present, but one that I only discovered quite recently. Sleipnir is a browser with many features, perhaps the most distinctive of which is the ability to set configurable gestures for recurring browser tasks. This basically mean that you can give a particular swipe or movement to something you do often when browsing, such as opening a web page in a new tab or closing all open tabs, or whatever.
There is a built in ad blocker here, also, which is another of those things that most users generally overlook or are simply not aware of in terms of its importance. The tabs are shown at the bottom of the screen, which might take a while to get used to for some users who are used to accessing tabs at the top of the screen.
But you can easily open up links in the background, which is great for those who wish to do other stuff while tabs load. – Download from iTunes
7. Opera Coast (Free)
Opera is a brand that has always existed on the boundaries of web browsing, for some reason. There is a stigna attached to Opera users that I’ve certainly experienced in the past, especially when around tech people.
Opera Coast is in some ways a departure from this, and also represents a departure from the way we browse in general. It’s a very innovative take on the browsing experience, and includes the removal of typical UI featres such as a back button and address.
Instead, the browser simply arranges the sites you visit in a tile like fashion, allowing interface to take on what I could only describe as a magazine like format similar to some of these personal news apps out there. – Download from iTunes
6. Ghostery (Free)
For those with security in mind, Ghostery is really the one and only choice out there for iPad users. I’ve been a Google fan for some time and still use Chrome when browsing from my desktop computer, but it’s worrying how Google does track your activity and then uses it in their ads.
With Ghostery, you don’t have to worry about such invasions of privacy. The primary aim of this app is not speed or features but anonymity, placing a veil over your web activities and ensuring that you won’t be targeted by advertisers wherever you go. It’s not the best looking browser in the world, but what does that matter when your privacy and security are concerned? – Download from iTunes
5. Puffin ($3.99)
When creating a third party app inside an already crowded market, it’s important to have an angle or distinguishing feature that will set you apart from competitors. The Puffin browser is regarded by most for its speed, both when loading pages and navigating between tabs. There are a bunch of different add ons to choose from in order to keep things interesting an compete with some of the other feature-rich third party browsers. – Download from iTunes
4. Opera Mini (Free)
We mentioned Opera Coast above as a radically different way to browse the web. Opera Mini is a little more traditional, though surprisingly doesn’t amount to much in terms of market share. I think about one percent of users currently boot up Opera when browsing the web from any device, which isn’t many at all.
This is even more surprising when you consider that Opera Mini for mobile devices is actually one of the fastest mobile browsers out there at present, and is probably even quicker than Puffin – the browser widely regarded to me the quickest out there on the market at present. – Download from iTunes
3. Maxthon (Free)
Another very impressive browsing experience that might have been overlooked by some users is that provided by developers Maxthon. They claim that their Maxthon browser is both the fastest and smartest mobile web browser on the market at present, which we’re not sure about but it is certainly quick and certainly worth checking out.
Syncing to the cloud allows you to maintain the same settings and bookmarks no matter the platform you are browsing from, and there a bunch of other exciting features included such as the ability to switch to private browsing which will not record any of your online movements – I’m sure that all of us can appreciate that! – Download from iTunes
2. Chrome (Free)
Chrome is by far the best desktop browser out there at present, if you ask me, though it has become somewhat bloated in recent years (at least, when compared to its supremely lightweight early editions) though does offer a huge level of personalization which the more tech savvy of users will no doubt appreciate.
I guess this might be one of the bigger plus points for Chrome users to actually use Chrome on their tablet, too: the fact that you can simply import all your settings and bookmarks, and also sync them up, too.
So if you’re a Chrome desktop user, no matter on which platform you save passwords and bookmarks, they will be reflected across the board. This of course will also apply to those that use their Google account a lot, with apps like Gmail and Google Docs and Drive and that sort of thing. – Download from iTunes
1. Dolphin (Free)
I first discovered Dolphin a few years back while using my Android tablet, and the same things that attracted to me the app as a third party replacement for Chrome back then can be used in this case. Dolphin provides a slightly different browsing experience for iPad users, but unlike many other third party mobile browsers actually looks to compete with desktop options in terms of customization options and such.
Dolphin has a useful download manager which many users will find of interest, but is also excellent when it comes to communicating with other apps. With Dolphin, you can clip items in Evernote, share things on Facebook and Twitter and more than that – all without leaving the browser itself. – Download from iTunes