Browsers on your smartphones are probably the most frequently used apps, and many readers would nod in agreement with our above statement. In this regard, the iOS ecosystem has Safari as its default browser. While there are quite a few alternatives to this, users are generally stuck with this offering itself.
One reason for the same could be attributed to the fact that there was no option to change the default browser on your iPhone or even iPad, for that matter. However, with the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates, all this changed.
One of the most significant talking points that came out of this update was the ability to change the default browser on your Apple devices.
With that said, the App Store already beholds quite a few offerings in this domain. While some focus on the customization front, others have their stronghold on the privacy side.
All this begs for an important question- which one should you ultimately settle for? Well, with so many options to choose from, users seem to be spoilt for choices. If you also echo these thoughts, then you have come to the right place.
This post will make you aware of the best browsers for iOS and iPadOS, their features, and their drawbacks. Follow along.
Let’s start this list with the most obvious choices. It is hardly a surprise that Chrome has occupied the numero uno position here. This offering from the Silicon Valley giants manages to checkmark near about every prerequisite you could ask for from a browser.
One of the biggest perks why you might settle for this is its handy cross-device support. If you use Chrome on your PC, then deciding on its mobile variant is a no-brainer.
Likewise, it also has a few built-in tools to streamline your overall workflow. Talking about which, its handy Reader Mode makes sure that you can read your preferred blogs without any distractions.
With that said, let’s check out some of its noteworthy features:
- Its Built-In Google Voice Search helps you to find the answer to your query without the need to type them manually.
- The embedded Google Translate allows you to interpret or convert text from one language to another.
- Then its ability to sync browsing history, bookmarks, saved passwords across various devices turns out to be quite valuable.
- The Data Saver mode compresses the web pages so that it loads faster on your device.
- An Incognito Mode for Private Browsing, where your history, cache, and cookies won’t be recorded, is a boon for the user’s privacy.
However, despite all these goodies, it has the same issue as its web counterpart- it is known to hog quite a few valuable resources. While today’s iPhone or iPad might not lag due to this, it would result in a faster battery drain.
If Chrome occupies the top spot, could its Chromium partner be far behind? Based on the Chromium source code, Microsoft Edge offers near all the features that the former has to offer.
But at the same time, it manages to keep resource consumption to a minimum. And it is due to this fact that it has quickly created a niche segment of the loyal fanbase for itself.
Apart from that, the ability to link your iPhone/iPad with your Windows PC and share the saved data such as bookmarks, data, and other browser settings is a boon for users who are looking for cross-device support. Furthermore, the following features further add to its rich collection:
- Tracking Prevention to stop third-party trackers from getting hold of your browsing activity.
- Baked in Ad-Block Plus to stop the intrusive ads from ruining your browsing experience.
- InPrivate browsing Mode so that you may browse securely in incognito mode.
- Immersive Reader Mode allows for a distraction-free experience.
- Password Manager to effectively handle all your saved passwords associated with your account.
The only complaint that some might have with Edge is the need for a Microsoft Account to extract the maximum potential of this browser.
If Privacy is the question not, Mozilla Firefox comes out as the more often than not answer. This enriched privacy browser comes baked in with quite a few stringent security measures.
Apart from the Ads and Trackers blocking, it makes full use of Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP).
If you prefer to take this security to the next, you have the Firefox Focus, a browser that is even more aggressive in respecting user privacy and data. To cement this statement, here are a few privacy-centric features that the browser beholds:
- Private Browsing Mode makes sure that none of your online activities are being recorded. Furthermore, once you close this mode, the browser will permanently delete all its associated activities from your device.
- Its Enhanced Tracking Protection is known to block all harmful trackers, including crypto miners and fingerprints.
- You could also sync your data across various devices. For example, you could save your passwords, bookmarks, and browsing history to your account. Then log in with that same account on Mozilla’s macOS build, and the browser will automatically sync all the data with that PC.
But there is a significant drawback with its Bookmark Management system. The thing is, it treats your PC and iPhone bookmarks as two separate entities. Not only does it end up cluttering the Bookmarks folder, but it also doesn’t allow you to manage or delete PC bookmarks via your mobile and vice versa. So whereas it scores pretty well on the privacy front, the same cannot be said for its cross-device management.
Another well-known player in this domain, the browser, was usually known for being the perfect alternative to Chrome or Firefox. However, things have changed since then, and it could well establish itself as a worthy competitor to the names mentioned above.
Apart from its smooth user interface and a few Opera-exclusive features, its iOS build has undergone a complete redesign in recent times. One of the biggest takeaways from the same is introducing the FAB or the Fast Action Button.
Taking a page of Apple’s Control Center, a single tap on this button is enough to invoke quite a few functional this could be carried out right via the FAB itself, from refreshing the tab to closing it or opening a new itself.
With that said, here are some other features worthy of mention:
- The ‘Flow’ feature allows you to link the device’s browser with its PC version. You could then easily exchange the desired data from either end.
- It also comes with a built-in QR Code scanner, which blends inquire well with its Flow feature.
- Furthermore, it also has a built-in Crypto wallet that efficiently manages Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.
- Then its AdBlocker feature coupled with Pop Up blockers leads to an immersive browsing experience.
But it suffers from two significant drawbacks- the lack of bookmark management and the option to online syncing your data. Being a browser, these features are generally counted as among the most important ones, the lack of which is sure to disappoint quite a few users.
The Braver browser could be regarded as one of the unique entries in this list due to its functional methodology. By default, the browser blocks all the ads. It not only results in less intrusive UI/UX but also considerably increases the page loading speed.
Well, at the end of the month, the browser will compensate the publisher by estimating your interaction with that site. Likewise, you could also share your BAT (Basic Attention Token) with the publishers. Apart from that, it is also known to respect user’s privacy in some other terms, namely:
- The HTTPS Everywhere feature makes sure that you only visit the safe sites.
- Likewise, all the data transfer that takes place between the client and server-side are encrypted by default.
- It also blocks all third-party trackers, add-ons, and scripts.
- An inbuilt Private VPNPN that allows you to hide your actual IP address and browse anonymously.
However, there is still a little reluctance, especially in the developers and publishers community. This is because they are still unsure how these Brave Rewards add up compared to the revenue they are getting via ads. So until the payment methodology gets further simplified, one or two sections of the user base might maintain a safe distance from this browser.
DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser
The amalgamation of a privacy-focused browser coupled with a customizable one would result in something along the lines of DuckDuckGo.
Apart from giving equal weightage to both Privacy and Customisations, it also boasts of its search engine, which recently clocked over 100 million searches in a single day. All these factors are leading it to scale new heights each passing day.
Likewise, some of its nifty features could have also contributed to its continuous rise. Here are some of the noteworthy ones that deserve your attention:
- It blocks all the third-party trackers by default.
- Its Enforce Encryption feature ensures you always land upon the HTTPS version rather than the HTTP (if available).
- Likewise, it also gives each site a Privacy Score, from A to F. So this might give you a decent idea of how secure that site is.
- You could also implement a Touch ID or Face ID lock on this browser to prevent it from being accessed by unauthorized people.
While it’s all well and good on the privacy front, however for some, the customizations are way too much to deal with. For example, to clear your history and browsing data, you need to tap on the Fire Button, which gives out a burning animation upon being interacted with. For some, all these are a big no.
So if these high degrees of customization aren’t in sync with your liking, then you might have to look for other alternatives mentioned in the guide.
Bottom Line: Best iOS Browsers
With this, we conclude the list of the best browsers for iPhone and iPad (iOS/iPadOS). As you might have noticed, each one of them has its USP as well as a few caveats. While some focus on privacy, others have their eyes set on customizations.
It ultimately boils down to the user preference, which one they end up settling for. As far as my choice is concerned, I have decided on the offering from the Silicon Valley giants, i.e., Google Chrome. The biggest reason for the same is its highly effective cross-device support.
My iPhone and Windows PC are all pretty well integrated, and data sharing is a breeze. With that said, do let us know your preferred browser on iOS from the aforementioned ones in the comments section.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the frequently asked questions regarding the best browser for iPhone or iPad.
What is the best browser for iPhone?
The default Safari browser is considered the best browser for iPhone or Apple ecosystem. However, if you rely on Google or Microsoft accounts, consider getting Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge for ease of use and cross-device sync function. Both these browsers are great Safari alternatives.
What is the best browser for iPad?
Apple’s Safari, Google’s Chrome, and Microsoft’s Edge browser are the best browser for iPad. Choose the browser based on the ecosystem you want to rely on for better usability.
What is the most private browser on iPhone?
The Safari is considered to be the most private browser within the iPhone. It is pre-installed on Apple devices and comes with an advanced tracker prevention method known as ITP.
Is it better to use Chrome or Safari on iPhone?
Google’s ecosystem and its products fully support chrome. At the same time, Safari is integrated with Apple’s ecosystem. Both are great browsers, but it ultimately boils down to personal choice.