Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Senselessly Long List of Web Browsers

Some fruits of my obsession with Internet browsers. The layout will be: Browser | Platforms <br /> Single sentence pitch. I am trying to stick to the positives :)

Mozilla Firefox | Linux, Mac, Windows
Single Sentence Pitch: Because of its massive suite of powerful extensions, Firefox is the Transformers of browsers & capable of almost anything.

Google Chrome | Linux (c.f. Chromium in package mgmt systems), Mac, Windows
SSP: Whether you like it or not, the omnibar & Google Chrome's minimalist, er, chrome has straight-up revolutionized the way that internet browsers are designed.

Opera | Linux, Mac, Windows
SSP: Opera is lightweight & comes full-featured out of the box, with a particularly nice launching page, mail reader,& a decent password manager.

Safari | Mac, Windows (Funny, but true. Anyone running Safari on Windows just has to leave me a shout out in the comments.)
SSP: Safari's easy integration with so many common Mac applications, both Apple's native & third-party ones, makes it a super convenient choice on OS X.

Midori | Linux, Mac, Windows
SSP: A purposefully simplistic browser with a built-in User-Agent switcher, which is pretty sweet for Linux users who need to work around terrible web development decisions.

Camino | Mac
SSP: Camino runs like a stripped-down Firefox that's optimized for OS X, & it would be a fine option for the OS if it was better maintained.

Konqeuror | Linux, Mac, Windows
SSP: The unheralded mother of many modern browsers (the Webkit rendering engine that undergirds Safari, Chrome, Midori, & many others was based off of Konqeuror's KHMTL), Konq is utterly unique in that it doubles as a file manager/viewer, combining perhaps the two most common OS functions in one place (imagine if Windows/Internet Explorer were merged).

rekonq | Linux, Windows
SSP: The default browser for Kubuntu, rekonq is slick & an aesthetic joy to behold in the K desktop environment.

SRWare Iron | Linux, Mac, Windows
SSP: Iron is a fork of Chromium that focuses on privacy, meaning users get all the technological advances of Chrome without sending tracking data back to Google.

RockMelt | Mac, Windows
SSP: For social media addicts, the ability to easily access many networking sites while benefitting from the technology & extensions of Chrome is a potent combo.

Raven | Mac
SSP: Another newcomer, Raven has a different take on RockMelt's sidebar, focusing on the web app element of many modern sites by adding buttons for common functions like RSS feeds, social sharing, & more.

Maxthon | Windows
SSP: Highly customizable, MaxThon is a strong choice for Windows users who want all the options of Firefox without researching & installing twenty extensions to get there.

Arora | Linux, Mac, Windows
SSP: A cross-platform combination of the strengths of Linux browsers, Arora has a User Agent switcher like Midori alongside the simplicity of Epiphany's user interface.

Lunascape | Windows
SSP: Lunascape boasts perhaps the strangest super power with its triple-rendering engine insanity (it has Gecko which powers Firefox, Trident which powers Internet Explorer, & Webkit which powers Safari & Chrome) which makes it an intriguing tool for web designers.

Lynx | Linux, Mac, Windows
SSP: Lynx is another unique browser in that it just presents text without any other media, which actually has a tremendous number of use cases such as when running a browser on a web server or doing quick accessibility checks.

Epiphany | Linux
SSP: With its decent speed & simple user interface, Epiphany is a great browser for new users, but it can use Firefox add-ons making it very customizable as well.

Dooble | Linux, Mac, Windows
SSP: Dooble has a simple interface with some surprisingly complex options, especially under its Security and Safe settings tabs, and a built-in file browser.

Internet Explorer | Windows
SSP: The latest version of IE (9 as of this writing) is fast as hell & surpasses even Chrome in terms of minimalist user interface.

So there you have it. I know I left some out (Dillo, Flock, Galeon, K-Meleon) but I hope to check them out & come back to update this post. What's more, there's a rapidly evolving set of mobile browsers–from Android Browser to Firefox Mobile to Mobile Safari–that I haven't had the time to do my due diligence on. Also worth mentioning is the Wikipedia article that helped me research these software packages.

1 comment:

  1. Just a note: I was using my Acer Eee PC with 1mb of RAM for a conference and turned to Epiphany for my default browser. Why? Because for all their talk of speed, Chromium & Firefox are fast only on decent machines. If you're struggling with 10 tabs open in Chrome, try one of the lighterweight browsers above and see if you like it.