There are quite a few options for web browsers out there and this is important to us because we develop web applications. A major factor in developing web applications is considering the different browsers people will view our clients' applications on. There are many lists that rank browsers, but I thought I would just talk about the benefits of each browser.
Firefox - is preferred by many people over other browsers because it offers more than 6,000 add-ons. These add-ons make it so easy to customize the browser to your own needs. Firefox also features a minimalist design and excellent organization, making it very user-friendly. Most of the browsers feature a sync function, but FireFox's mobile sync is excellent and lets you switch from device to device effortlessly. For improved security Firefox offers a private browsing mode, which makes it so your web browsing history does not save on your computer. Another security feature is the download manager, which scans all downloads for viruses before you open web pages.
Chrome - has a reputation as one of the speediest browsers available. Chrome is the only browser with a built in PDF reader and Flash Player which saves users from having to download these separately. Chrome features a minimalist design improving the user's experience making it stand out from the other browsers. A Translation feature directly in the browser without the need for additional plug ins or extensions. A user has the ability to search directly in the address bar and can take text or a link on a page and put it in the web search bar.
Opera - offers Unite, a technology that turns your web browser into a server. Through the Turbo feature Opera speeds up the Web on slow connections by caching. Tab stacking is a feature that allows users to create groups of tabs making them organized and manageable. Users can complete browser actions with the visual mouse gestures. With Speed Dial users can preview their favorite sites in new tabs. Voice control allows users to speak commands to the browser and it also read pages aloud.
Safari - features a reading list that allows users to save articles and websites to a list that is stored in iCloud so users can come back to it later. The reading list shows the title of the web page, the website, and preview of the first few lines. Reader view, allows users to read articles in a clean space without ads. Switch between your Top Sites and Full History with the click of a button. Cover Flow lets users flip through previews of bookmarks and history.
Internet Explorer - is the most popular web browser in large part due to the fact that it comes installed as the default web browser on Windows computers. The release of Internet Explorer 9, the latest version brought many new features and updates, but it is only supported by Windows 7 and Vista. Tracking Protection is a security feature that uses two different methods, giving users a more secure browsing experience. Tracking Protection limits the browsers communication to help keep your information private. Tab-pinning is a feature that allows the user to pin websites that they visit regularly to their taskbar. You can also complete searches directly from the address bar.
The competition between browsers has definitely paid off for users because each browser has continued to improve and make advancements. In the end I think people choose the browser that works best for their needs and that they feel the most comfortable with. Which browser do you prefer and why?