Safari is great. It is the fastest, and arguably the most stable, mobile browser for the iPad. This is in part due to the fact that Apple restricts exactly how good its competition can be, but don’t let that stop you looking at what else is out there for a mobile web browser experience. There are numerous alternatives, each vying for their own niche and offering something different from what you are used to on Safari.
Here you will find a selection of some of the best alternative browsers for the iPad, as used by teachers in a variety of K-12 classrooms. All quotes are from the App Store description page of the respective apps. Prices can, and probably will, vary over time.
Chrome (free) – “Browse fast with Chrome, now available on your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Sign in to sync your personalized Chrome experience from your computer, and bring it with you anywhere you go.”
Rover (free) – “Rover is a free education app and the only education browser for your iPad designed for teachers and students of all ages. Rover is targeted towards enhancing the K-12 education experience, bringing the best online learning content to your iPad- including access to content ordinarily available on the Apple tablet (e.g. Flash content).”
Dolphin (free) – “Download Dolphin for the best iPhone web browser experience. Dolphin’s free iPhone browser has tons of exclusive features. Dolphin Browser is the FASTEST, EASIEST, most FUN and BEST iPhone browser on the market. Download our FREE iPhone browser now!”
Opera Mini (free) – “Keep Opera Mini handy on your iOS device, especially for those unavoidable times you are on a slow crowded network, away from Wi-Fi or when data roaming. Opera’s powerful servers compress data by up to 90% before downloading, so page loads are lightning fast.”
Puffin (free or $2.99) – “Puffin Web Browser is wicked fast. Once users experience the thrill of using Puffin, regular mobile Internet just feels like torture. Puffin Web Browser Free is the free version of the Puffin family.”
Yahoo! Axis (free) – “Get a smarter, faster and more visual way to search and browse the web! Yahoo! Axis is a new browser that redefines what it means to search and browse the web on your iPhone, iPad, and even your desktop.”
Photon Flash Video Browser ($4.99) – “Appsverse Photon Browser is a powerful new browser with Flash capability designed to enhance your browsing experience on the iPad. We have been the #1 paid browser on the app store for several months and you can read reviews on the web on why we are the best Flash browser for the iPad.”
Atomic Web Browser (free or $0.99) – “Atomic Web Browser Lite is an advanced iPhone Browser which includes Desktop Tabs, Private Mode, Themes, Search Engine Plugins, Rotation Lock , Facebook/Twitter integration and much more.”
Apollo Web Browser (free) – “Apollo Browser is most powerful and fastest FREE browser for both iPhone and iPad. Unique features: 1.Sync Chrome/Firefox bookmark, history and tab to you device. 2.The best AdBlock capability. 3.Open unlimited tab and minimize page reload. 4.Reader mode, give you clean and tidy content. 5.Solid donwloader, save pictures and documents.
iCab ($1.99) – “iCab Mobile is a web browser for the iOS. It provides many unique and useful features you won’t find in other iPhone browsers. File uploads, filling out forms, full screen mode, downloads, Dropbox integration and more.”
Mobicip Safe Browser ($4.99) – “This best-selling Safe Browser for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad is based on a path-breaking content filtering engine. It is expressly designed by Mobicip to provide a safe, secure and educational Internet and YouTube for families and school-age children.”
Mercury Browser (free or $0.99) – “Mercury is a fast and elegant web browser for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The rich feature set includes themes, downloading, printing, fullscreen browsing, file sharing, adblock, tabs, multi touch geatures, user agent switcher, private browsing, passcode lock, save page, Facebook/Twitter integration and a lot more.”
Diigo Browser (free) – “Diigo browser (formerly iChromy) brings the best of Chrome’s interface,speed and Diigo’s web annotation service to the iPad.”
Google Search (free) – “The Google Search app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Search the web faster and easier with the latest Search app from Google. Get new features available only in this app. Now, with streaming voice search.”
Side by Side (free or $1.99) – “Side by Side is a multiple-window reader/browser with offline reading and note taking capabilities. It turns the iPad into multiple resizable reading devices working in parallel. You can browse webpages, download files, read documents, or take notes on each split screen.
Rabble Browser ($2.99) – “RabbleBrowser is a curated, collaborative Web browsing and file sharing tool to help with learning and sharing in a group setting. RabbleBrowser allows a leader or facilitator to lead a group browsing experience. This browser is the perfect tool for a classroom, lecture hall, discussion group, boardroom or any meeting room. No more IM’ing URLs or files, emailing and hoping they go through quickly and not get caught in a spam filter, or hollering out “http://…” across a crowded room – just easy, collaborative group browsing and file sharing.”
Coast (Free) – “Coast reimagines tablet browsing with a fresh, new perspective. It’s easy to use and designed specifically for your iPad. Try it out – you may have just found your new default browser.”
Documents by Readdle (Free) – “Read, Listen, View, Download, Annotate almost anything you want on your iPad. Files, documents, music, videos, books, any content is at home in Documents by Readdle.“