iPhone Web Browser Comparison: Safari vs Chrome vs Firefox

Firefox was recently released for iOS, giving iPhone and iPad users even more options when it comes to mobile web browsers on top of Safari and Chrome. Here’s how the big three iPhone web browsers compare.

Safari, Chrome, and Firefox are arguably the three most popular web browsers that you can get for the iPhone, but which one should you use?

While Safari is the default browser on the iPhone and integrates with iOS nicely, Google’s Chrome browser offers some unique features for iPhone users, and could be a great option for avid Google users. And those who are loyal to Firefox on the desktop will likely prefer the iPhone version as well, especially since you can sync bookmarks and other info across platforms.

However, if you’re partial to all three options and just aren’t sure which iPhone web browser to use, we’ve decided to try out all three and compare them to see which one would work best for most users on Apple’s smartphone.

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All three browsers are free to download, which means you can use them risk-free, but if you’d rather not bog down your iPhone with more apps on your home screen, here’s a quick overview of Safari, Chrome, and Firefox on the iPhone, as well as which one of the browsers you should be using.

Safari

The default web browser that comes included on your iPhone is Safari. Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of Safari is that it’s integrated nicely with iOS and is specifically optimized to run on your iPhone.

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However, it’s features are rather basic compared to Chrome or Firefox, but the good news is that it still has the essential features that you would want in a mobile web browser, like private browsing mode, quick access to bookmarks and favorites, and the ability to share webpages in a variety of ways.

Read: How to View Recently Closed Tabs in Safari on iPhone

Safari is also perhaps the cleanest-looking iPhone web browser out of the three, which isn’t too surprising since Apple’s design game is usually on point. The company is all about making things simple and easy to use.

Chrome

Like Safari, Chrome comes with all of the essential features you’d want in a mobile web browser, but navigation is a bit easier than Safari, giving you quicker access to Incognito Mode.

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With one tap of the Menu button on the top-right corner, you get quick access to a number of things in Chrome, including Incognito Mode, Bookmarks, Recent Tabs, History, and even request the desktop site for the web page you’re on.

And of course, if you’re a Chrome user on the desktop, you can sync your bookmarks and other browsing data to the Chrome browser on iPhone.

Perhaps the best feature of Chrome, however, is the ability to do voice searches within the browser. Simply just tap on the microphone icon and then speak away to perform Google searches hands-free.

Firefox

Firefox has many similarities with the other two iPhone web browsers, including quick access to tabs in the upper-right corner.

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However, Firefox comes with a cool toolbar of sorts right below the URL address bar, where you can quickly access bookmarks, history, sync data, and your reading list with just one tap.

Then, when you access a webpage, there’s a toolbar that appears on the bottom that allows you to quickly go forward or back and reload the web page, as well as quickly share the web page in a number of ways. There’s also a star icon that you can tap to instantly save the web page you’re on to your favorites to quickly access it in the future.

Another cool feature of Firefox is the ability to search specific websites, like Amazon or Wikipedia, so when you begin to type in the search box, right about the keyboard will be a handful of websites to search from. Typing in your search query and hitting one of those buttons will take you to that website’s search results for your query.

Which iPhone Web Browser Should You Use?

This is a tough question, especially since each of the three web browsers have their own pros and cons.

It makes sense to use the same web browser on the iPhone that you use on the desktop, but this doesn’t have to be the case for all users.

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If you browse a lot on your iPhone, then it makes sense to use the same browser and have your data synced between devices, but I personally don’t browse the web a lot on my iPhone, so I just stick with Safari since it meets my basic needs, even though I use Chrome on my Mac.

Read: How to Save Website Shortcuts to Your iPhone Home Screen

However, if you use Chrome on your computer, you might benefit from using the Chrome web browser on your iPhone, especially if you browse a lot while on the go. Plus, you can use Handoff to send links to your iPhone from your computer, which you can’t do if you use different web browsers on your two devices.

Nothing really stands out between the three web browsers except for maybe voice search in Chrome, which can be pretty cool. I’d say that if you usually get on your iPhone to search for something, you would benefit from a feature like that, although I wouldn’t download Chrome just to have the voice search feature that I may use every once in a long while.

Overall, if you only do basic web browsing on your iPhone, Safari is a great option to use, but if you’re a die-hard Chrome or Firefox user on the desktop, there’s no harm in downloading the respective apps for your iPhone so that you can mirror the browsing experience.

9 Comments

  1. mackabieviper42

    11/13/2015 at 11:15 pm

    Google Chrome is not worth plug nickel I had on my Samsung S3 and HTC ONE I got it on my PC it is slow it block web pages which I have used for over five years it is actually Antivirus for Antivirus it tells your Regular Antivirus what is good and not it is really slow on web pages you can be ordering from companies which you have used on Safari for four or five years then when you put Google Chrome it will put blockers on those companies and when you take Google Chrome off your Desktop or PC it will bug you put Chrome on again

    Reply

  2. Loh

    01/05/2016 at 4:05 am

    My choice opera mini

    Reply

  3. Jane

    02/21/2016 at 1:03 pm

    I have a couple of Google devices and I’m partial to Chrome as a browser. I have ditched Safari forever. Better quality and stability dollar tor dollar. I’m a simple search engine user…..my money was wasted on Apple. Maybe Carl Icahn should have another chat with Tim Cook?

    Reply

  4. Karlsson

    02/25/2016 at 10:23 am

    Come on guys, a Comparisson and not even a single Word about the fact that on iOS all Browsers are essentially the same?
    The all have to use the Safari rendering engine since Apple doesn’t allow a different one.
    So if you really have a Choice on Desktop you haven’t on iOS – it’s all only UI and Sync Features. That’s something but it has to be said that Apple just sucks here.
    So under the hood it’s all Safari with it, compared to real Chrome, lack of supporting modern Web Technologies (f.e. Web workers, html costum elements and other stuff)

    Greetings

    Reply

  5. Daniele

    03/02/2016 at 3:12 pm

    Firefox! I use it on my desktop and iPhone with a veri nice experience.

    Reply

  6. Hyan

    04/02/2016 at 2:20 pm

    I like this article, although you forgot an important part. Safari is the default browser on iPhones. And that can’t be changed unless you jail brake your phone, which I personally don’t recommend for that reason alone.
    So that means everything you open from apps, emails, anything, will open in Safari. So even if you choose to use Chrome or Firefox, you’ll still be experiencing Safari all the time.
    So, as I have finally learned, my preference is to use Safari only on the iPhone. That way i only deal with one browser, and not two. And I’ll use Chrome on the desktop, because that’s my preferred browser.
    I’m also not so sure that constantly syncing web data between every device you have is so important, as this article somewhat suggests.

    Reply

    • Incognito

      12/09/2016 at 10:52 am

      My iPhone is jailbroken & I couldn’t be happier. A boing basic iPhone with no customization options or themes sucks. And I do recommend jailbreaking your iPhone especially if you want to fully personalize it to your liking with themes, tweaks etc which are not available for a stock iPhone. Also, most current features on the latest iPhones all come from the jailbreak community. So you’re welcome.

      Reply

  7. sterlinsalvador

    04/25/2016 at 1:01 pm

    Nice article i appreciate but surely safari is faster and more realiable. I have safari and chrome on my ipad but safari is surely faster and besides you cannot install any third party application on an idevice with any other beowser besides safari so i there by suggest using safari on idevices amd any other browser on desktop

    Reply

  8. Hunter Kern

    04/26/2016 at 2:29 am

    I use an iPhone 5s, and I have to say I am disappointed with Chrome, Safari, and the AdBlock Browser. I got crashes all the time, when I still used them. When I downloaded Firefox, I have had no crashes whatsoever. Same websites, same usage…

    Reply

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