iPad Web Browser Alternatives to SafariYou can use your iPad to protect your home and edit images, but there’s a good chance that you spend even more time just surfing the Internet on your Apple tablet. Yes, you could just stick with the default Safari browser, but it has its limitations. That’s why it’s worth checking out some of the alternative iPad web browser apps that are available through the iTunes App Store.

Yes, when you first boot up your Windows PC, you only have Internet Explorer. When you first boot up your new MacBook, you only have Safari. However, many of us opt for different web browsers on our laptops and desktops, so why should our mobile web surfing experience be any different? You don’t have to be stuck with just Safari Mobile on your iPad. You have options. Better still, many of these alternative web browsers for iPad are also offered as iPhone apps.

Google Chrome

Chrome for iPhone and iPad

Chrome for iPhone and iPad

iTunes Store Link: (Free)

Apple and Google aren’t exactly the best of friends, butting heads over iOS vs. Android on an ongoing basis, but Google’s Chrome browser is available for the Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch as a viable Safari alternative. Many of the features from the desktop version of Chrome have been translated to the mobile app, like fast searches, omnibox data, and synchronized password saving. There’s also the incognito tab for private browsing.

Dolphin Browser for iPad

Dolphin for iPad Speed Dial Feature

Dolphin for iPad Speed Dial Feature

iTunes Store Link: (Free)

In a sense, Dolphin is just another free alternative iPad web browser, but it does come with at least a few unique features. One of these is called Speed Dial, as shown above, and it brings up a list of your favorite websites for super fast access. It’s like a bookmark manager, only more convenient. Dolphin also features one-tap sharing to Twitter and Facebook, so it could be a good choice for all you social media types too.

Opera Mini Web Browser

Opera Mini on iPad

Opera Mini on iPad

iTunes Store Link: (Free)

Before smartphones exploded onto the mainstream scene, many of the better “feature phones” on the market had some form of Opera as their mobile web browser. That tradition continues with Opera Mini on the iPad and iPhone, bringing with it years of experience and polish. Opera Mini is said to be up to six times faster and it can compress your data by up to 90%. The visual tabs are pretty nice too, making it easier to recognize what you were reading.

Skyfire Web Browser for iPad

Flash Video on iPad with Skyfire

Flash Video on iPad with Skyfire

iTunes Store Link: ($4.99)

As great as the iPad may be for web surfing, it’s so frustrating when you arrive on a website only to find out you can’t watch their Flash video. Skyfire is an iOS web browser that gets around that hurdle, letting you enjoy Flash video playback with the rest of us. This also includes support for Flash-based websites, though the loading of Flash videos can take up to 20 seconds to start.

iCab Mobile

iCab Mobile

iCab Mobile

iTunes Store Link: ($1.99)

Yes, you can import and export your bookmarks from your desktop computer using iCab Mobile on the iPad, but one of the more interesting features is Guest Mode. When you activate this feature, your friends and colleagues can borrow your tablet and surf the web with limited privileges and a separate set of bookmarks. You can password protect iCab Mobile for increased privacy and security too. You may also appreciate that iCab Mobile can upload files to web pages, like photos to Flickr. Not all mobile browsers allow that.

Atomic Web Browser

Full Screen Browsing with Atomic on iPad

Full Screen Browsing with Atomic on iPad

iTunes Store Link: ($0.99)

You’ve got a 9.7-inch display on your iPad (or 7.9-inch on your iPad Mini), so you may as well utilize all of it! Getting rid of extraneous toolbars and icons, Atomic Web Browser offers a full-screen mode so you can see more of the Internet at once. There’s also integration with iTunes and Dropbox for direct file sharing, as well as multi-touch gestures and the ability to view the full versions of websites rather than being limited to the mobile versions.

Image credit: michaelnugent / Flickr

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