There’s a lot to love about Android as an operating system. It’s matured a lot over the past half-decade, with an emphasis on improved performance throughout the Android 4.x days and leading up to a total visual rehaul in 2014 with the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop and the unveiling of material design. In the three years since, Android has evolved to a rich, modern ecosystem. While both iOS and Android have their fair share of criticisms, it’s surprising to see Google’s mobile operating system overtake iOS as one of the best-looking pieces of software you can get today. Despite the sense of visual maturity, Android hasn’t lost its true sense of customization that has been around since the beginning of the platform. From changing your home screen layout to setting up custom launchers, Android has always felt a little more open than its competition, and this remains true to this day.
One of the most underrated abilities in Android’s customization is the ability to set specific apps to as system defaults. By setting an application as a system default, you can control how your phone opens up all sorts of different files in your device. This is incredibly similar to what we’ve seen from other operating systems like Windows, where you can set an application to open specific file types automatically. For example, if you want VLC to handle all of the video file types on your laptop, setting VLC as your default video player will allow the file to open directly inside of VLC without have the device ask you each time you open a file, or you having to manually redirect your computer to a specific application. Android has the same built-in function, allowing you to easily replace the apps that ship on your device with your favorites downloaded from the Play Store. From replacing Google Maps with Waze or Gmail with Google Inbox, it’s easy to replace the applications on your Android phone or tablet with your own favorites.
This includes switching out your browser for a new choice. The market for mobile browsers on the Play Store has been heating up over the past year or so, and as 2017 draws to a close, we’re seeing some great competition for mainstays like Chrome that are included with nearly every Android device out of the box. Whether you’re looking for an application that uses less data than Chrome, helps preserve your device’s battery, or to use plugins like night mode and other applications that can help you improve your standard browsing experience. Of course, there’s so many different selections to choose from, picking a replacement browser can be difficult. Here’s the good news: we’ve tested some of the most popular browsers on the Play Store today, and we think we’ve found some great selections. This is our guide to the best browsers on Android today.