All The Good Ones Were Taken

Comparison of Android Web Browsers

Android web browsers are a pain in the backside. I can never remember which one to use if I want to listen to the audio component of a video with the phone on standby, or if I want a web page to talk to me with text-to-speech, or if I want the best available ad blocking, or... you get the picture. So I've started keeping a personal list of which browsers fail at what.

Yes, this list is probably woefully outdated.

No, I haven't submitted bug reports, feature requests, or actual patches for any of their shortcomings. From what I've seen of other people doing so, the responses they received were not exactly encouraging.

Currently I'm mostly using Vivaldi because it seems to have the best ad-blocking. Yes, I block ads with extreme prejudice; the industry has had decades to clean up its act, and hasn't.

  Firefox Bromite Vivaldi Brave Opera Kiwi
Extension support Limited1 N N N N Y
Import and export bookmarks as HTML N Y N N N Y
Sync with desktop version of same browser Y N Y Maybe2 Y N
Built-in adblocking Possible3 Y Y Y Y Y
Supports custom blocklists Possible3 Sort of4 Y N N Possible3
Blocks YouTube text ads Possible3 N Y N N Possible3
Blocks Facebook ads Possible3 N Y N N Possible3
Can easily toggle JS on/off per site 5 N Y N Y N N
Can remember HTTP Basic Auth credentials Y Y Y Y Y N
Home button can open user-defined URL N Y Y Y N Y
New tabs can default to user's home URL N N N N N Y
Allows background YouTube playback Y Y N Y N N
Scripts can use text-to-speech Y Y Y Y N Y
Scripts can use text-to-speech on standby Y N N N N Y
Adequate implementation of Audio API Y N Y Y Y Y
Scripts can use Audio API on standby N Untested6 Y Y Y Y
Option to reflow text on zoom N N N N Y Y
Removes fbclid from URLs N N N Y N N
Excludes device model from User-Agent Y Y N Y N N
Free VPN access included N N N N Y N
Open-source software Y Y Partly7 Y N Y
Not riding the crypto-Ponzi bandwagon Y Y Y N N Y
Removes AMP where possible Untested Untested Untested Untested Untested Y

  1. Yes, but only for a tiny subset of add-ons. ↩︎

  2. Allegedly, but I've never known it to work. ↩︎

  3. Not built-in, but can be achieved by installing the right extensions. ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  4. One custom blocklist, which needs to be compiled with a command-line tool and hosted somewhere. ↩︎

  5. Brave takes three taps, Bromite takes five taps. ↩︎

  6. I haven't tested this, because the implementation isn't complete enough for my use case. ↩︎

  7. Part open, part closed↩︎