When it comes to browsing the interwebs we Apple customers have many choices beyond Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. Most of the time I use a different trio of browsers; Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Safari, Firefox, and Brave, but I venture out to see what else could be beneficial to my online habits.
Remember, nothing improves without change. I like browsers that give me the needed standards– tabs, sync, bookmarks, ad and tracker blocker options– but sometimes you’ll find a very useful feature as browser makers push the envelope.
Here are some examples.
Firefox Focus for iOs has an erase button which instantly erases your browser history. I like that. Erase should be a standard feature and should have a setting to make it automatic whenever the browser is closed. Focus also uses Face ID (or, Touch ID) to protect access. On the negative side of the ledger Focus does not sync well and navigating the interface is somewhat traditional. You gotta love the ad blockers and tracker blockers, though.
Opera Touch is new for iOS and features a built-in ad and tracker blocker, but the claim to fame here is how it makes one handed navigation a breeze thanks to a new user interface. Tap the menu icon near the bottom of the display and you get a rounded pop up with navigation tools.
Opera Touch has plenty of useful features but won’t challenge Safari or Firefox on iOS. Yet. It’s much easier to search various search engines, though. The interface is perfect for using with one hand.
Use the iPhone’s camera to scan barcodes to find product details online. Hold and swipe makes it easy to open tabs, too. There’s also an interesting way to use Opera on Mac, Windows, and Linux PCs with Opera Touch.
Other than the interface, one feature I love is the quick touch to see how many ads and trackers have been blocked. Here’s a look at all the trackers on the popular iMore website.
What do you see?
Ads and ad trackers. Lots of them. All blocked by Opera Touch (Brave for Mac, iPhone, and iPad also has a similar feature) and counted so you get an idea of just how much websites track their visitors these days.
By contrast, I pointed Opera Touch to nearby Mac360— a website notorious for not having ad trackers or analytics trackers– and the results are strikingly different.
What do those two images tell you?
First, most websites have plenty of ad trackers and analytics trackers that are constantly on and designed to track your every move while browsing. Second, a good blocker eliminates all those trackers (and counts them). Third, some websites can prosper with unique content, advertisers, and not trackers.
Try Opera Touch on your iPhone. It’s free. Then, navigate– use just one hand– to NoodleMac and then check the number of ad trackers, analytics trackers, or cookies.