Alternative Browsers

Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari lead the market, but there are other browsers out there for PC and Mac users which can be better then the one you’re using now.

When Microsoft, Mozilla or Apple comes out with a new version of Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari, it makes news, mainly because most of us use one or more of these three Web browsers. In fact, with the exception of Google’s Chrome (which made a big splash, mostly because it came from Google), most of the alternative browsers out there tend to get lost in the shuffle and it’s too bad, since some of these relatively unknown browsers are good, and could be better for some users than the ones they’re already using.

Check these browsers out; one of them may work for you.

Camino
It is an open-source browser based on Mozilla’s Gecko rendering engine, is clearly designed to be a simple, user-friendly, yet fully functional browser. With a look and feel very similar to Safari and Firefox, almost anyone will find it easy to work with in seconds.

Maxthon
It’s got just about every feature built into competing browsers, and many that you won’t find anywhere else, such as a “file sniffer” that makes it easy to download YouTube videos and a popup notepad for pasting or dragging text you want to save. Power users will love it. Those who like sleek design will turn away.

OmniWeb
OmniWeb’s best features include extensive ad-blocking, auto-saved Web browsing sessions and site specific preferences. From the unique tab drawer to support for browsing Web pages using OS X’s built-in Speech Recognition, OmniWeb’s hold of Mac specific technologies wrapped in a clean and uncluttered interface makes the product a delightful browser alternative.

Opera
Opera 9.6 for Macintosh is a fast, option-laden browser that represents a formidable entry in an extremely competitive product category. Its standout features are Speed Dial startup page, extensive search engine support built into the browser and it also offers support for widgets.

Shiira
Like Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome, Shiira is based on WebKit. One of the first unique interface elements was Shiira’s PageDock which provides the same functionality as tabbed browsing, but with complete thumbnails of every page that is opened. Other features includes the menu items for automatically e-mailing the URL or entire contents of a page with a single click, and a very effective full-screen-mode option that would be perfect for presentations or watching video.

Which is the finest?
It all depends on what you require from a browser!

What are Web Browsers?

Web browsers are applications that display Web pages you create with HTML, HTML, and CSS. Many different browsers are available, and most are free of charge. Almost all PC operating systems include a Web browser by default, and most people use the browser that came with their PC.

Major Web Browsers
Starting with Netscape Navigator in the early- to mid-1990s, many Web browsers have come and gone. Today, only a few browsers remain viable. This section names and briefly discusses three of the more popular browsers.

1. Firefox – Firefox is a new, free Web browser that was designed to be fast, secure, and simple to use. Firefox includes powerful features such as tabbed browsing, multiple home pages, and an integrated search feature that lets you search major Web search engines such as Google, Amazon.com, and eBay. You can download Firefox from www.getfirefox.com.

2. Internet Explorer – Because of the popularity of the Microsoft Windows operating system, it should be no surprise that the most popular Web browser is currently Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Although IE is included with Windows, you can also download it from www.microsoft.com/ie.

3. Netscape Navigator – Netscape Navigator was one of the first commercial Web browsers available. Earlier versions of Netscape (versions 4 and prior), though still used by some people, do not support many modern Web standards. It is therefore a good idea to test all Web pages you design in both newer versions of Netscape (such as Netscape 7.2) and older versions (such as Netscape Communicator 4.8). Netscape is available free at www.netscape.com.

Versions
A few years ago, Web browser manufacturers would introduce new versions of their browsers on a frequent basis. Because of the standardization in HTML, XHTML, and CSS, Web browsers today typically offer a major upgrade once every year or two. You should always make sure that your Web pages are viewable with the most popular Web browsers at the current time.

Enhancements
In the early days of the Web, browser manufacturers would introduce enhancements to their Web browsers that only applied to Web pages viewed with that manufacturer’s browser. This practice made writing Web pages difficult because designers had to figure out how to handle users who did not have the browser for which a certain Web site was optimized. In many cases, the users would receive a message saying the site was not supported by their browser. This was more of a concern in the past, before the standardization of HTML, XHTML, and CSS. This should not happen in the future, as most Web browser manufacturers now support most of the latest Web standards.