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

Final Placing And The iOS Winner's Circle

With the mobile Web Browser Grand Prix, we've dropped the placing tables, brackets, and point system entirely. Since we lost so many categories of testing in the transition from the desktop to mobile, the remaining categories are mostly from the Essential bracket: CSS, DOM, JavaScript, and Standard Conformance. At the same time, the remaining categories from the Important bracket are upgraded due to the slower time scale on mobile devices: HTML5, Page Load Times, and Security. Only hardware acceleration (HWA) remains. But, due to the slow progression of titles able to exploit HWA, even that will arguably play a bigger role for casual gaming on mobile devices long before supporting hardcore games on the desktop.

Our new final scores are the geometric mean of all eight mobile WBGP composite scores, which makes creating the placing table and applying a point system unnecessary.

Drum roll, please. And the winner is...

Surprise, surprise, it's Apple's own Safari.


Safari's access to Nitro really pushes it way ahead of the other browsers designed for iOS. While Dolphin, Axis, Chrome, and Sleipnir all have slightly different scores, they are basically equals. With page load times and a smoothness nearly equal to Safari, Maxthon is really the only third-party iOS browser that stands out. But, in the end, any third-party Web browser on iOS is essentially tantamount to using an older version of Safari with a slightly different user interface and additional features. Therefore, if for whatever reason you decide against using Safari on your iOS-based device, you're best off simply going with the browser that you like the best.

Due to Apple's App Store mandate that all third-party iOS browsers utilize Safari's stock engines, browser competition on this mobile operating system is practically non-existent. Unless Apple reverses course, allowing other developers to compete using their own unique rending and JavaScript engines, we really only need to check in with iOS every time the platform receives a substantial upgrade.

But Tom's Hardware, I hate Apple. What about Android?

We're already working on it, folks. With Chrome, Firefox, and Opera providing their own unique engines, distinct from the stock Android browser, and Dolphin, Maxthon, and Sleipnir providing their own take on WebKit, Android is where the real mobile Web browser action is. That mobile operating system should be just as vibrant and competitive as any on the desktop. Stay tuned next week for the Android Web Browser Grand Prix.

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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
    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
    no IE ?

    On iOS?