Which Browser Should You Be Running On Your iPad And iPhone?

Axis, Chrome, Dolphin, Maxthon, Safari, Sleipnir

iOS Web Browser Grand Prix Competitors

Axis

Vendor:
Yahoo!
Layout Engine:
WebKit
Current Version:
1.1.3
Supported Platforms:
iOS
Download Axis on the App Store

Chrome

Vendor:
Google
Layout Engine:
WebKit
Current Version:
21.0.1180.82
Supported Platforms:
Android (4.0+), ChromeOS, iOS, Linux, OS X, Windows
Download Chrome on the App Store

Dolphin

Vendor:
MoboTap
Layout Engine:
WebKit
Current Version:
5.4.1
Supported Platforms:
Android, iOS
Download Dolphin for Android

Maxthon

Vendor:
Maxthon International
Layout Engine:
WebKit
Current Version:
1.3 build 5
Supported Platforms:
Android, iOS, OS X, Windows
Download Maxthon on the App Store

Safari

Vendor:
Apple
Layout Engine:
WebKit
Current Version:
6.0
Supported Platforms:
iOS, OS X

Sleipnir

Vendor:
Fenrir Inc
Layout Engine:
WebKit
Current Version:
2.1.2
Supported Platforms:
Android, iOS, OS X, Windows
Download Sleipnir on the App Store


New operating system, new CPU architecture, new browsers. It's no surprise that the usual Web Browser Grand Prix test suite required an overhaul, too. Now let's take a quick look at the updated test setup and benchmark suite.

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38 comments
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  • esrever
    All of them are the same since apple doesn't give developers any freedom.
  • ksampanna
    I mean, c'mon ... bt obviously
  • LuckyDucky7
    Was this review even necessary?
    There is no choice of browsers on iOS. None. Every "browser" is just a sub-par Safari wrapper.

    It's not like people buy iOS devices for the ability to tailor the device to their liking, after all- it's not called the "reality distortion field" for nothing.
  • victorious 3930k
    You may have forgotten the useful extra features category, where Chrome for iOS wins by MILES.
  • murzar
    Quote:
    But Tom's Hardware, I hate Apple. What about Android?


    Such condescension! What about people who actually like Android more? Or find its features more beneficial?

    Not every Android user hates Apple.
  • barathn
    I like the last paragraph
  • gamecube
    I hope next week we see not only tablet review. I'm more interested in the phone part of Android.

    And Ubuntu just release 12.10. This is a good time to have another Ubuntu Web Browser Grand Prix.
  • I'm curious what the benchmarks would be like if they installed the Nitrous Cydia tweak, which allows third party apps to use the Nitro engine. Any chance we can get a follow-up?
  • no IE ?
  • amdfangirl
    Quote:
    no IE ?


    On iOS?
  • amigafan
    No iCab mobile and no Atomic Web Browser :(
  • blackmagnum
    Hey Apple... This is unfair!
  • why should you buy apple products to begin with?
  • abbadon_34
    hmm...this article seems to imply I can stomach any Apple product post-Apple II
  • jaquith
    If you don't have an Apple iOS product then frankly go away, you're talking out your 'back side,' and go Troll somewhere else. Keep in mind all but two of the TH Editors have an iPhone and a slew of other Apple products - fact.

    I've tried Chrome and Dolphin and keep coming back to Safari. Most of these benchmarks are within milliseconds so ± <0.05~0.10 seconds or ± <1~2FPS in the real world is negligible, so it comes down to features. Chrome isn't bad but it still needs some improvements in it's UI and features which still aren't ready for prime time.
  • monkeysweat
    I have noticed on iOS 6 the newer Safari is much faster than it used to be, but speed isn't everything here,, how about features? I use chrome because it is better at blocking popups, quicker to switch to 'incognito' for banking, etc, also it syncs with my desktop history and favorites --- AND in my opinion has a better way of managing the tabs,,, Safari doesn't do any of this. I get lots of popups and redirects which I don't get on Chrome.
  • jaquith
    I like that Chrome syncs with my PC but where's the history (aside from recently closed tabs)? As far as pop-ups (even with Block Pop-up - 'on') and ad bars I've seen little differences between Safari and Chrome; try TH site. I do agree and I do like the 'incognito' but most of my e.g. banking is done on either my PC or Bank's App.

    On some sites Chrome isn't recognized as mobile friendly but it's not Chrome's fault, it's the site's fault.

    I have little doubt and look forward to later versions of Chrome that will solve many of these odd problems and fine tune their App.
  • drip50291
    um...what about Opera? Its faster with one bar of 3G than Safari is on Wifi.
  • blackened144
    murzarNot every Android user hates Apple.


    Maybe not but they yell the loudest.
  • kajunchicken
    What about web browsers available through Cydia? You know... the ones that AREN'T stuck with Apple's crappy limitations.
  • adamovera
    esreverAll of them are the same since apple doesn't give developers any freedom.

    ksampannaI mean, c'mon ... bt obviously

    LuckyDucky7Was this review even necessary?There is no choice of browsers on iOS. None. Every "browser" is just a sub-par Safari wrapper.It's not like people buy iOS devices for the ability to tailor the device to their liking, after all- it's not called the "reality distortion field" for nothing.

    cknobmanOne of the biggest waste of time articles ever published on this site. WTF Toms?

    Not everybody is aware of what's going on with browsers on iOS. I've had people request this article, and I've also heard people say "I use browser X on my iDevice instead of Safari because it's faster." Before Nitro, I would have to agree with you, esrever, they were all the same. Not anymore. I think the fact that Apple continues to limit 3rd-party browsers to using the stock engines, yet has a new JS engine that only Safari can access is complete BS. And Nitro plays a big part in real-world usage that isn't easily seen on benchmarks that measure any one aspect, just look at and page load times. All iOS browsers are the same, right? Then how come Safari is the only one who can walk and chew gum at the same time? Nitro. If Apple kept the playing field level and they all were forced to use the same engines, they could always evenly compete on featureset, but with Nitro, the fix is in. The question is, how long can Apple keep this up while being the dominant player in the tablet sector?
  • adamovera
    "just look at -RoboHornet Pro- and page load times" is what I meant to say, for some reason it pulled my link to the RoboHornet Pro article from the post...
  • adamovera
    gamecubeI hope next week we see not only tablet review. I'm more interested in the phone part of Android.And Ubuntu just release 12.10. This is a good time to have another Ubuntu Web Browser Grand Prix.

    I started with tablets due to the Internet connection. Studies show that tablets, unlike smartphones, are used overwhelmingly on WiFi connections as opposed to mobile data. Plus, mobile data varies too much. Whatever numbers I get here won't necessarily translate in San Fran or NYC, or even to another provider were I am.
    I'll probably include Ubuntu in a Windows-based WBGP sometime down the line, that won't be for a while though. Android is next, and Windows 8 is probably more important to most readers than Ubuntu right now.
  • adamovera
    amigafanNo iCab mobile and no Atomic Web Browser

    I picked them based on these three criteria:
    1) They have to be a regular browser - the Mini browsers have way too many issues with tests not running
    2) They have to be free (as in beer) - and no trial stuff, either
    3) Popularity/Rating
    iCab Mobile and Atomic didn't pass #2.