Friday, July 5, 2013

The Sorry State of Mobile Browsers

I recently got a Galaxy S III. I was really tempted to get a Blackberry Z10, but I was concerned about the fact that the Blackberry doesn't have any alternative web browsers available. I was afraid the Blackberry browser wouldn't be up to snuff, and then I would have no other options.

There are a ton of browsers available for Android, but unfortunately they all have serious flaws.

Dolphin is really good, but on the Galaxy S III, the text is too small unless you do 200% zoom, in which case the text is way too big.

With Firefox, it's impossible to access your bookmarks without first bringing up the keyboard, even if you have no need for the keyboard. Unacceptable.

Chrome is OK, but you can't disable images (deal breaker when not on Wi-Fi). Also, when you access your bookmarks there's a lag before they show up.

With the default browser you have to tap the lower left corner to pull up the bookmark icon, but the bookmark icon is in the upper right corner. Incredibly annoying.

The new webkit Opera browser (not to be confused with Opera Mini) has potential, but again the text is too small. Also you can't edit bookmark names. Come on.

The winner by default is Opera Mini. It uses very little data (especially with images off), so I can get by on the cheap data plan. It's pretty fast and does a good job formatting text. It can't really handle Java Script, but I can live with it.

Meanwhile, Hollase recently got a new Blackberry Q10 (the model with the keyboard). I tried out the browser, and it turns out my fears were well-founded. You can't disable images, so that's a negative. But much worse is the fact that there's no text-wrapping. No text-wrapping! In 2013! Ridiculous. Hollase basically can't read her favorite blog because the text is so small. It's really unfortunate, because otherwise the Q10 is a nice phone.

Opera Mini has its limitations, but it's been an old friend since my 2008 flip-phone, and it's still my mobile browser of choice.

1 comment:

  1. You guys are so far ahead... We have an I-pad, but have yet to buy an I-phone. When we catch up, we'll know what to get though!