Browsing for web browsers on the HTC EVO 4G

This guest article was written by David Carleno.

Sense-internet Does the stock web browser on your HTC EVO 4G leave you wanting more? Join the club.

The good news is that there is an ever-growing list of enhanced substitutes you can use instead. As with anything, user preference will come into play as you look into these options, but I've compiled a brief summary of the most popular browsers below, including their key strengths and weaknesses. I hope you'll find it helpful as you (cough) browse later.

Opera Mobile

Evo-opera

A very popular browser for the last few years, this app is available in two versions:  Opera Mobile and Opera Mini. The key difference between the two is the optimization for 3G vs WiFi connection and the space the app takes up in memory.

Strengths:

  • Opera provides a very nice "Start Page" with speed dial buttons for fast and easy access to your favorite sites.
  • Tabbed browsing is made very easy.
  • Access to downloads, history, and other settings are all two taps away.
  • App2SD is supported.
  • Can select mobile or desktop user-agent in displaying your pages.

Weaknesses:

  • Pages are not consistently resized properly, leaving you with text bleeding off the screen.
  • What you see is what you get; no appearance mods or other extensions available.

Skyfire Web Browser 4.0

Evo-skyfire

Skyfire picked up popularity over the last few months and seems to be the most integrated of the choices available. There is an in-page "quickview" and Like button for Facebook, as well as filters to narrow displayed content.

Strengths:

  • Enhanced integration for Facebook and Twitter users.
  • Skyfire optimizes and compresses video content, which may be of help to those trying to stay under carrier data limits on plans. This shouldn't be a point of concern for most EVO users with Sprint's unlimited data, but it's worth mentioning. Note: There is an in-app $2.99 upgrade for Skyfire's Video License Key required to fully benefit from this.
  • Tabs are easily accessible, though navigating within Skyfire feels more like the stock browser than the others here.
  • App2SD is supported.

Weaknesses:

  • The additional features and integration create a very busy screen.
  • Has a very similar feel to the stock browser, which may not be a good thing depending on the user.
  • Not as intuitive as others I've used.

Firefox 5.0

Evo-firefox

Firefox has come a long way since it was first featured on G&E last year.

If you have upgraded your PC to the latest version of Firefox, you can take advantage of a niche feature in Mozilla's browser. Users can sync their phone with their PC and take their desktop browsing history with them on the go, allowing them to leave the office and pick up right where they left off when they fire up their EVO. This isn't a new feature to the latest version, but it's cool enough to bring up again.

Strengths:

  • Synchronized browsing with a user's desktop.
  • Tabs are easily accessible.
  • Navigation is very intuitive.
  • Those already familiar with Firefox will recognize the abundance of plug-ins and add-ons. A small number are available now with more on the way.
  • App2SD is supported.

Weakness:

  • Unless a user will utilize the PC sync capability, better versions of Firefox's strengths are found in other more seasoned browsers.

Dolphin Browser HD 5.1

Evo-dolphin

As I mentioned, we all have preferences and this is mine. Dolphin has been my daily browser, loaded immediately after purchasing my EVO.

If you tried Dolphin before but left for something else, you may want to try again. As with Opera, Dolphin comes in two formats: Dolphin Mini and Dolphin HD (plus a new 6.0 Beta version). The HD version has incorporated a few of the UI elements found in the Mini and it's made it even easier to use.

Strengths:

  • The addition of speed dial buttons to the start page is great, as is the number of plug-ins available.
  • Very simple navigation. Users can choose to use the menus and bookmarks found off the sides of the screen (like in Firefox) or can create customized gestures to control what the browser does. A clear example of this is drawing a simple F to load the user's Facebook page.
  • Lots of enhancements and appearance customizations readily available in the Market.
  • App2SD is supported.

Weakness:

  • Dolphin can sometimes take up more space than other browsers. This can be managed on the device, but is worth noting.

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So there you have it. Four of the most popular replacements for your stock HTC browser. Of course, there are many more to choose from in the Market. But hopefully this helps you sift through them a little faster.

    This guest article was written by David Carleno.

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    Jenn K. Lee

    Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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