Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How many different Web browsers are there for Android tablets?


Browsers are the most popular app category for Android tablets. But not all browsers are created equal.
Browsers are the most popular app category for Android tablets. But not all browsers are created equal.
Courtesy Samsung

Google's Android OS (operating system) is a relative newborn compared to older and more established systems. Since its launch in 2007, however, Android has become the most widespread OS for smartphones, with nearly 60 percent of the smartphone market. Android is increasingly popular for tablets, too, and the flexibility and adaptability of the open-source Android architecture means that both smartphones and tablets can access the Web in a lot of ways.

A Web browser, of course, is the primary category of software needed to surf on any device, be it a desktop computer or a phone. That's also true of tablets. But tablets, by nature of their hybrid hardware and touchscreens, work best when browser developers create apps that capitalize on their aptitude and strengths.

Most browsers downloaded to tablets work exactly like, or at least very similarly to, those installed to Android phones. However, a few are tweaked to work just right in a tablet environment. All in all, there are currently more than a dozen browsers made for Android.

So you definitely won't run short of options. The names will be familiar to anyone who likes to try new browsers. They include WebKit (Android's preinstalled browser), Boat Browser, Chrome, Dolphin Firefox, SkyFire, Maxthon, Miren, Ninesky, NetFront, Opera, OverSkreen, Puffin, UC Browser and xScope, as well as a few others.

More and more browsers appear often as developers release them, and established browsers receive frequent updates that expand their capabilities. All of which means that finding the perfect browser might be a tough task. Keep reading, though -- on the next page, we'll offer a few hints to beat back the pretenders and find the contenders for serious tablet surfing.