Do you know how many browsers are available for Mac users? I don’t know the total number but I do know which ones are popular and which ones are not?
Some are obvious, others make you wonder “Why?”
We know the basic winners. Google’s Chrome is the world’s most used browser and runs almost everywhere. Second is Apple’s Safari, limited to Mac, iPhone, and iPad. After Safari comes Microsoft’s Internet Explorer/Edge combo. Then, Mozilla’s Firefox, and… See?
Mac users with a bit of browsing experience will remember and perhaps have used Opera, perhaps SeaMonkey, maybe even OmniWeb.
After those, the pickings don’t get thin. They grow. I found a few dozen Mac browsers; some forgotten and no longer updated, a few that are worthy of usage, and many others in between. Here are a few of the good ones.
Sleipnir – Updated just days ago, Sleipnir 4 is available for the Mac and macOS Sierra. Ostensibly, it’s available for macOS High Sierra, too, but my Japanese is a bit rusty. The claim to fame here is gestures, an app linker for phone calls, tabs, synchronized bookmarks, and a few features not found in the major browsers, including gesture tabs. I know, right?
Brave – Personally I think it’s brave just to create your own browser (competition is better and free) but Brave, the browser, has a couple of features you won’t easily recreate elsewhere, including a cool way to pay publishers for their work. Think Micropayments.
Aurora – This one is a labor of love. And convenience. Don’t you hate it when other apps lap over the browser’s windows? Aurora ends that hassle with a floating browser window that floats on top of other open apps on your Mac. Not bad for not quite free, right? Yeah, it’s a browser with a price tag.
Vivaldi – This one is a favorite in the Brave sense. Vivaldi is based upon the Chromium project which is the basis of Google’s Chrome but it looks like Opera and yet has features you won’t find in either one. Customizability is the name of the game. Notes, tab stacking, tab tiles, themes, bookmarks, and gestures. If you’re not into Opera’s free VPN, Vivaldi is worth a try.
Fluid Browser – Most browsers are free. Plus, they’re all loaded with table stakes features, and differentiation is more difficult to come by these days. Fluid Browser is an exception. It, too, has a price tag and for a few bucks you get floatable windows so you can watch videos while you do something else.
Roccat – I prefer browsers that get updated often and Roccat fills the bill; now at version 7.6. The tabs are called VisiTabs and feature a miniature preview of the website page. Navigate Launchers make it easy to use abbreviations to open websites. The list of options is one of the most compelling and lengthy for a browser without a price tag.
Are there more?
Yes. Plenty. My rule of thumb is to ignore any application that hasn’t been updated within a year, and to be suspicious of those apps with upgrades more than six months. That helps you to avoid abandonware apps.
Browsers might be a dime a dozen but there are good ones, and each one is a bit different than the others.