Browsers on Chromebook: Let’s Try the Alternatives

What all browsers are available on Chromebook apart from Google Chrome? Since you’ve already got Google Chrome, why should you even bother to install some other browser? I used to think the same. But what if I don’t like Chrome at all? Maybe I’m more of a Firefox guy. So, I’m here to help you with that on Chromebook!

Browsers on Chromebook
Image Credit: Opera Dev

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Are Other Browsers Available on Chromebook?

The straight-up answer is a big YES! There are a bunch of other third-party browsers too. Chromebook is just a laptop running a churned-down version of Android and since Android supports a thousand other browsers, Chrome OS is bound to support all of them as well.  Although called Chrome OS, Chromebooks are running Android at the core with a few cosmetic modifications for making the OS laptop worthy.

Alternate Browsers on Chromebook

Firefox

Firefox is probably the best alternative for Google Chrome and of course, it’s available on Chromebook! I’m sure you’ve used Firefox on Windows and I love the freedom and performance it offers to the users. But Firefox isn’t exactly the Firefox you know from Windows on Chromebook. Firstly, Firefox’s performance isn’t up to par on ChromeOS and second, the browser runs into strange errors more often on ChromeOS. Here are a few known issues that ChromeOS users have faced with Firefox:

 

  • If there is no touchscreen support on your Chromebook, downloading Firefox wouldn’t be a wise thing to do because it has no touchpad support on Chromebook.
  • If you want to use other apps on your Chromebook using the spilt screen feature with Firefox running on one side, that is not going to work. While it’s true that you will be working on only one application most of the time. What if you want to edit your entry on Excel while reading an email you received from your colleague? You are going to have a hard time minimizing Firefox’s window then bringing up Excel then pushing it to the taskbar again and bringing up Firefox.

Opera Mini

Opera Mini is a capable enough replacement for both Chrome and Firefox. It has superfast rendering speed, has a built-in ‘adblocker’ just like the original Opera and, also has plenty of plugins. Are you really going to use Opera Mini as your default browser?  You are definitely going to love this browser after you try it once. Have you heard about the ‘Block Trackers’ feature on Opera Mini? It’s worth checking out! I use the Opera GX on my PC as the default browser and it renders stuffs on heavy websites like Amazon and Apple without breaking a sweat. YouTube works like a charm too.

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To make the whole thing even sugary, ads are nowhere to be seen! You can use your Chromebook’s touchpad with Opera Mini. But there’s a catch to all of this! You can’t freely resize Opera Mini’s window. It only supports two window sizes i.e., small and big (on Chromebook).

Browsers on Chromebook
Image Credit: Mozilla

Dolphin Browser

Is that even a browser? Yeah! It does sound more like a game made for kids with lots of fishes in an oversized aquarium.

Dolphin Browser Features

Dolphin Browser’s plain and simple yet offers a bunch of advanced features like ad blocking, theme changing, support for Adobe Flash, only to name a few. On Chrome OS, this browser is buttery smooth since it requires minimal resources to run. It has all the features that you would like to have in a web browser. What about speed? Dolphin Browser also allows you to sync your browsing data across devices but you will need to mess with the settings a bit. Once you have set up your Dolphin account on the browser, you are ready to go! And this browser also supports touchpad out of the box so it’s better than Firefox. it still has one issue that both Opera and Firefox have. It’s the window resizing ability again. But that kept aside, Dolphin Browser lets you have a smooth browsing experience on Chromebook.

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