Mobile Browser List
In 2009 I wrote a short article summarizing many mobile browsers, and I have updated the article a few times since. This page is based on that article and will be refreshed a little more often.
- Android – strictly the name of Google’s Linux-based mobile OS, the built-in browser is based on WebKit. For added functionality, a popular free touch-based UI layer for the browser is Steel.
- Atomic – iOS (iPhone and iPod Touch) browser, like Safari but offering many additional feature (e.g. download manager, selectable search engines, gestures etc.).
- BlackBerry – the browser from RIM embedded in their BlackBerry devices.
- Blazer – a free NetFront-derived browser found on Palm handhelds. Last seen in 2006.
- Bolt – a free independent Java-based mobile browser built on ThunderHawk from Bitstream, for Palm, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile 6. Discontinued 12/2011.
- Brave. See LinkBubble.
- Chrome – Powerful HTML5 browser from Google for the Android OS. Introduced in 2012.
- Cliqz – Android/iOS browser with a focus on user privacy. German company with Mozilla backing.
- Coast – A full-screen gesture-oriented browser from Opera. Particularly suited to tablets/phablets.
- * Deepfish – zooming browser from Microsoft that was canned in 2008. The architecture was similar to Opera Mini.
- Dolphin – Highly rated HTML5 browser for Android, iOS and BlackBerry, part-based on WebKit. Developed by MoboTap Inc.
- Fennec – the successor to Minimo, this is the mobile version of FireFox aimed at Android devices. First appeared in 2010.
- Flynx – free Android browser from InfiKen Labs that “floats” loading pages in on-screen bubbles so the user stays in-app. Appeared in 2014 and had released 25 times by 2017.
- IbisBrowser – once popular Japanese i-mode mobile browser. Long faded into history.
- Internet Explorer Mobile – IE for mobile, found on all Windows Mobile platforms. The underlying Trident layout engine is equivalent to the desktop version.
- Iris Browser – WebKit-based browser, acquired from Torch by RIM in 2009. Dropped Windows Mobile, and now aimed at BlackBerry devices.
- * JOCA – free Java-ME browser that uses a Web proxy for page compression. Not seen for years.
- Kindle – a monochrome mobile e-book reader from Amazon, it comes with an experimental Web browser capable of basic text layouts. The UA reports the browser to be NetFront/3.3.
- Konqueror Embedded – self-contained embedded version of the well-known Linux desktop browser, based on the KHTML engine (the origin of WebKit).
- LinkBubble – Background preloading browser advantageous in limited networking conditions. Actually a WebView around the native renderer. Went Open Source and rebranded as Brave.
- Lunascape – iOS and Android. (Desktop version allows you to select Trident, Gecko or WebKit engines.) Mobile browsers with tabbed interface, and also allows selection of Unicode encoding.
- Maxthon – iOS, Android, Windows and Kindle (Fire) browser. Makes use of WebKit and trident rendering. Originally a tab-wrapper for IE Mobile, evolved into an independent multi-platform browser. Session migration between devices via a free cloud service is available.
- Mercury – iOS and Android browser with an abundance of customization.
- MicroB – Nokia’s maemo browser on the N8xx and similar devices, based on the Gecko rendering engine. Consigned to history.
- Minimo (see Fennec) – the Mini Mozilla, a scaled-down version of FireFox. The project was closed in 2008.
- Myriad – previously the OpenWave browser (redeveloped with WebKit), renamed when acquired by Myriad Group (France) from OpenWave’s mobile client division in 2008.
- NetFront – embedded browser from Access Co. Ltd (Japan) supporting cHTML/i-mode and XHTML-Basic.
- Obigo Q7 – an S60 and WinMob browser from the Hong Kong based company. Obigo have since launched an Android browser.
- * Opera Mini – a popular distributed mobile browser from Opera that transforms the Web via a proxy server.
- Opera Mobile – a full mobile Web browser for Windows Mobile, UIQ and S60 platforms using Opera’s Presto layout engine.
- OpenWave (now Myriad) – Widely used mobile browser that incorporated some features from Magic4 (the UK company acquired in 2004). Supported HDML before the introduction of WML. At one point, half of all mobile browsers were OpenWave.
- Pixo Internet Microbrowser – a component of the embedded OS originally in the Apple iPod. Long since consigned to history.
- * Puffin – Cloud-supported mobile browser with built-in Flash support.
- S40 – Nokia’s embedded software platform containing a WebKit-based HTML browser.
- S60 – Nokia offered a WebKit-based browser for its S60 mobile platforms.
- Safari Mobile – Apple’s KHTML/WebKit-based browser for the iPhone and iPod platforms.
- * Silk – Amazon browser for Kindle Fire tablet, announced September 2011 and still active.
- * Skyfire – distributed mobile browser for Windows Mobile. The proxy server uses the Gecko engine to render normal Web pages before being sliced into smaller images for the client. Acquired by Opera in 2015.
- Sleipnir – Japanese browser using Blink under the hood. Available for iOS and Android.
- Steel – a fork of the Android browser. Was acquired by Skyfire, which in turn was acquired by Opera.
- * Teashark – distributed MIDP 2.0 browser with a WebKit-based renderer in the proxy server. No longer active.
- * ThunderHawk – distributed MIDP 2.0 and Windows Mobile browser from Bitstream, with zoom-in/out features. Last seen in 2008.
- * UCWEB – the distributed “You Can Web” browser is popular in China and India. Originally came in both Java and native (Symbian, Windows Mobile) versions and now as part of Alibaba Group offers versions for all main platforms.
- Unwired Planet (UP) Browser – later to become OpenWave and subsequently to be acquired by Myriad. Some say this was the original mobile browser.
- * uZard Web – a distributed browser from Korea that runs on several platforms. It presented full desktop pages in miniature.
- WinWAP – an old WAP browser for Windows Mobile, now also supports WAP 2.0, HTML etc. and works well on resource-poor devices.
Notes :- Omitted browser categories:
- Automotive browsers
- Non-portable embedded browsers
- Game player browsers (e.g. Opera’s browser for the Wii)
- Wrappers (e.g. Skweezer)
Browsers marked * are distributed browsers that rely on an intermediate server to do some/all of the page transformation to adapt to the constrained mobile environments.
Some links may die. I’ll keep the links in place for a while, but eventually may have to remove them (or find an archival reference or something). Tweet me if you spot something that needs updating on this list.
(Matt Womer used an earlier version of this list for the W3C mobile browser summary.)