Saturday, March 12, 2011

The perfect mobile browser

Not long ago I got a new mobile device. I got the HTC Desire, running on Froyo (Android 2.2). I must say that it is great so far. The mobile browsing, one of the basic features of the smartphones lately is carried by the great Android Stock Browser. The browser app loads very fast and the browsing is very comfy and smooth, no matter if the page that you are trying to view contains flash. However, i got very disappointed by the fact that I can open max. four tabs (windows). Also, I don't like the fact that I should use the menu button to see the windows that are open, it makes this basic feature slow.
Since the Mobile Firefox is getting new improved versions very often, I had to test it on my Desire. The first and main difference is the time that Mobile Firefox needs to load. It loads almost ten times slower than the Stock browser, and the browsing in generally is slower. However, even with this bad basic features, it still has many features that are very cool. One of those cool features is the pane on the left side that enables the tab/window switching. The way you can bookmark pages and go forward and backwards is also cool. To open both of these menus you don't need to press any buttons, but just to scroll on the right (windows/tabs) and on the left (favorite, back, forward), the same way you open the notification bar.
One of the many good features that Mobile Firefox has is the ability to sync the bookmarks on your desktop Firefox and Mobile Firefox, but its useless since the browsing, compared to the stock android browser is much slower.

On the picture above you can see the pane that makes tab switching cool and easy. On the other site of the page viewing pane, there is very similar pane with bookmark, back and forward "buttons".

So, after all this, the conclusion about the perfect mobile browser, which should be a mixture of those two mentioned above must and should do the fallowing things:
- load fast (Android Stock Browser)
- load pages fast (Android Stock Browser)
- to be able to open pages that contain flash
- to be able to open more than 4 tabs (Mobile Firefox)
- to have the tab switching menu (Mobile firefox)
- to have the back, forward and bookmark menu (Mobile firefox)

Both of these browsers also have many more features, good and bad of course. However, these are the basic features that every mobile browser should have.

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