Best browser apps for iPhone: Google Chrome, Puffin, Mercury, and more!

Best browser apps for iPhone: Google Chrome, Puffin, Mercury, and more!

From Flash support to Google sync, to powerful social sharing features, these are the best web browser apps for iPhone!

Looking for the best iPhone apps to take your web browsing in a new direction? Perhaps you don't use Safari on your desktop and want to sync with Google instead? Maybe you want a way to play Flash videos like it's 2007, or an easier to way to share more things with more people? No matter what the reason, the App Store is full of browser apps. But which one is the very best?

Google Chrome

Best browser apps for iPhone: Chrome

Chrome can't use Google's Blink HTML engine or V9 JavaScript engine on iOS, but it can still sync all your Chrome bookmarks, all your Chrome preferences, and all the other information from all your other instances of Chrome, whether they're on your Mac, PC, or iPad. Since Chrome is available on pretty much every platform, it's a great universal option.

If you prefer Google syncing and content services over Apple's, you want Chrome.

Puffin Web Browser

Best browser apps for iPhone: Puffin

Puffin Web Browser is one of the most feature packed web browsers you're going to find for iPhone. Not only does it support bookmark and tab syncing across other Puffin browser instances, it supports Flash. Beyond that, the game pad controls in Puffin not only make it possible to play Flash games on your iPhone, it actually makes the experience rather enjoyable. Puffin also lets you easily toggle desktop and mobile versions a lot easier than many other browser options.

If you want game controls or Flash support, you need the full version of Puffin.

Mercury Browser Pro

Best browser apps for iPhone: Mercury Browser

Mercury Browser Pro is a fan favorite mainly because of its versatility. Mercury not only syncs bookmarks and other datas with other instances of Mercury, but also with versions of Firefox and Chrome. That means there's very little leg work on your end when it comes to making sure your content is available across devices. Maniupating files and media in Mercury is also one of the most desktop like experiences you'll get. Download, share, open in new tabs, and pretty much anything else you can do on a desktop, you can do with Mercury Browser Pro.

Dolphin Browser

Best browser apps for iPhone: Dolphin Browser

Aside from having one of the best interfaces of any browser I've ever used, Dolphin Browser has a lot of unique features that make it more convenient and easy to use than Safari. The most notable is the Dolphin Sonar feature that lets you speak queries in just a tap for a one time $0.99 in-app purchase. You can also draw gestures in order to complete actions. Create your own to navigate to your favorite sites with a flick of your finger. Dolphin Connect also lets you sync bookmarks and content to other instances of Dolphin as well as communicate with extensions inside Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.

If you want a beautiful browser with lots of shortcut and accessibility options, Dolphin is hands down the best choice.

iCab Mobile

Best browser apps for iPhone: iCab Mobile

iCab Mobile packs a powerful punch in a tiny package. What really sets iCab Mobile apart from other browsers is its Dropbox integration as well as its ability to upload files. Not many browsers can match that and for those who want true desktop browsing on their iPhones, it doesn't get much better than iCab Mobile.

For Dropbox integration for downloads and file upload support, look no further than iCab Mobile.

Your picks?

If you've booted Safari to the curb, what browser took its place? Was it one of the ones listed above or something else? Be sure to let me know in the comments!

See also: Best web browsers for iPad: Google Chrome, Dolphin, Mercury, and more!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Best browser apps for iPhone: Google Chrome, Puffin, Mercury, and more!

24 Comments

I've always been put off the Puffin web browser due to the academy and enterprise versions they offer, which are obvious scams.

Sent from the iMore App

Thanks for recommending "iCab Mobile ". Looks promising .. might buy that one. Also never realized Dolphin has a iOS version.. very popular with the Android crowd.

Sent from the iMore App

I have used Puffin on iOS and Android and used Flash without paying for any subscription. Dead simple to use. iCab Mobile is my favorite, those modules that link to many other apps are extremely useful, and I also like UC Browser because you can set up a "speed dial" for commonly used sites, I hate typing in URLs on a small device.

All so called 'flash' based browser for iOS ( Puffin, Skyfire) sucks big time ... they are all scams.

For a normal browser, i bought Atomic Browser full version long time back ( they have a free Lite version too ) but that one hasn't seen any update in a long time. Provides desktop version and download facility.

UC Browser is very promising ... faster load time, download facility and tons if feature makes it a all rounder. Very popular in Asia.

But Safari remains my favorite and most used browser in iOS.

Sent from the iMore App

"All so called 'flash' based browser for iOS ( Puffin, Skyfire) sucks big time ... they are all scams.
". Not in my experience. I've watched the last three Mayweather fights and plan to watch Pacquiao v Bradley II Saturday same way. Skyfire or Photon. I'm not a Puffin fan...but the two I mentioned, for Flash base needs, work just fine....other than having to listen to the British fight commentary, I've had excellent luck with both

How is it a scam? I have Puffin, and I can view Flash video content on it just fine. Works exactly as advertised.

That being said, your home connection speed matters, as it is basically streaming the entire flash site from their central servers. The bandwidth requirements will be higher than non-flash videos streaming in another browser. No way to get around this with iOS's architecture.

What in your own experience makes you think this is a scam?

Dang. I remember Atomic Browser back when it was more cutting edge. Now it's just abandonware. Too bad. I liked it a lot.

I think only the free version of the app is subscription based. If you buy the full paid version up front, then there is no subscription.

I use the paid version and I can tell you with 100% certainty that the Flash support does not require a subscription.

Mercury's best feature is PIN code security and private browsing.

Consider Photon Flash Web Browser for flash needs. It's the one my Bank recommended for use with their clunky website and it just works.

Defidently. Though, the one fault I have with it is it got rid of the "smart preview" for those lame icon links (IMO, the smart preview was far superior). That new second page is kind of annoying, to. Especially since it can't be customized/edited for the sites it links. Still my favorite browser, though.

Don't I wish that button existed. iMore never seems to have implemented any sort of system other than waiting on their admins to stop stuff. [sigh]

I might have to try iCab out. I bought Mercury on the basis that it was advertised as having DropBox integration. However when I tried to upload a document to a site using the browser (after adding my Dropbox credentials), it still only looked to the local Photos directory, couldn't see Dropbox.

If iCab actually lets you upload files from a Dropbox share (for any files that aren't photos), then I'll have to try it out.

iCab all the way. I absolutely love this browser and the support from the developer. Dropbox integration is fantastic (including bookmarks).

iCab all the way as well. Efficient, handy and powerful. Takes a bit of time getting used to as regards extra features, but it's hard to go back to anything else. Recently rewritten and redesigned to match iOS7.

Together with Browser Changer from Cydia, perfect combo.

Sleipnir! This is probably the most beautifully designed application on the Mac right now--let alone browser. The iOS version is gorgeous as well, and it sports a number of features: gestures, syncing, web services integration (Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, etc.) -- and it's multi-platform to boot (the aforementioned Mac, Android and Windows).

This browser keeps getting better with each release. Get it from their website (http://www.fenrir-inc.com/us/mac/sleipnir) or from the App Store.