5+ Best Browsers for iPhone/iPad in 2021 (Safari iOS Alternative)

We have listed the best web browser for iPhones and iPad are considered as Safari alternatives on iOS. These browsers are available for free on the app store.

Browsers on your smartphones are probably the most frequently used apps, and there are many readers who would nod in the 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 as such 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 biggest talking points that came out of this update was the ability to change the default browser on your Apple devices.

So this straightaway opened the gates for the end-user to try any of their preferred browsers and set them as their default. 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.

Related: 10 Best Browsers for Mac OS (Safari Alternative)

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. In this post, we will make you aware of the best browsers for iOS as well as iPadOS, their features as well as their drawbacks. Follow along.

Google Chrome

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 that you could ask for from a browser.

Google Chrome for iPhone and iPad

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 settling for 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 are able to 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 manually type them.
  • 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 useful.
  • 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, in spite of 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 definitely result in a faster battery drain.

Google Chrome

Microsoft Edge

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 the resource consumption to the minimum. And it is due to this fact that it has quickly created a niche segment of the loyal fanbase for itself.

Microsoft Edge for iOS and iPadOS

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 definitely 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.

Microsoft Edge

Mozilla Firefox

If Privacy is the question, then more often than not, Mozilla Firefox comes out as the answer. This privacy enriched browser comes baked in with quite a few stringent security measures.

Mozilla Firefox App for iOS

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 level then you have the Firefox Focus browser which is even more aggressive in respecting user privacy and data. Just 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, all its associated activities will be permanently deleted from your device.
  • Its Enhanced Tracking Protection is known to block all harmful trackers, including the likes of 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 all the data will automatically be synced with that PC as well.

But there is a major 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 quite well on the privacy front, the same cannot be said for its cross-device management.

Mozilla Firefox

Opera Touch

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 aforementioned names.

Opera Touch Browser for iOS

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 the introduction of the FAB or the Fast Action Button.

Taking a page of the Apple’s Control Center, a single tap on this button is enough to invoke quite a few functionalities. From refreshing the tab to closing it or opening a newer one, all this could be carried out right via the FAB 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 the likes of Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.
  • Then its AdBlocker feature coupled with Pop Up blockers leads to an immersive browsing experience.

But it suffers from two major drawbacks- the lack of bookmark management as well as 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.

Opera Touch

Brave Browser

This could be regarded as one of the most unique entries in this list, due to its functional methodology. By default, the browser blocks all the ads. This not only results in less intrusive UI/UX but also considerably increases the page loading speed.

Brave Browser for iOS

Considering the browser no longer has to load JavaScripts and other trackers, the increase in speed would be imminent. But since all the ads are being blocked, how do the website owners earn their fair share of income?

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.
  • There is also an inbuilt Private VPN 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 not sure how these Brave Rewards add up as compared to the revenue that 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.

Brave 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.

DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser for iPhone

Apart from giving equal weightage to both the Privacy and Customisations, it also boasts of its own 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 makes sure that you always land upon the HTTPS version of a site 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.

DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser

Bottom Line: Best iOS Browsers

With this, we conclude the list of the best browsers for iOS and iPadOS (iPhone/iPad). 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 settled with the offering from the Silicon Valley giants i.e. Chrome. The biggest reason for the same is its highly effective cross-device support.

Related: Apple Safari Features in iPhone and iPad: Get to Know!

My iPhone, as well as my Windows PC, are all pretty well integrated and the sharing of data is a breeze. With that said, do let us know your preferred browser from the aforementioned ones in the comments section.

Lastly, here are the recommended web browsers for your computer and mobile phone that you should give a try.

WindowsMacOSiOSAndroidLinux
Chrome WindowsChrome MacChrome iOSChrome AndroidFirefox Linux
Firefox WindowsSafari MacSafari iOSEdge AndroidChrome Linux
Edge WindowsFirefox MacEdge iOSSamsung InternetEdge Linux

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