8 Mac Browsers You May Not Know

Safari is a great web browser and works perfectly for many Mac users. Whilst there are a few popular alternatives such as Firefox, a number of less widely known browsers are also available. These range from safety conscious variations for children, through to applications targeted at research and powerful searching.

General web browsing is probably best served by one of the major players in the market, but it is fascinating to know what else is out there should the need arise. I’ll be looking at 8 niche applications, each with their own individual twist to assist with browsing the web.

Camino

Camino

Camino

Camino aims to provide the power and flexibility of Firefox, coupled with the interface style you expect from a Mac application. Camino combines the awesome visual and behavioral experience that has been central to the Macintosh philosophy with the powerful web-browsing capabilities of the Gecko rendering engine.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later
Developer: The Camino Project

Bumpercar for kids

Bumpercar for kids

Bumpercar

Bumpercar is aimed at providing a safe and secure place for children to browse the web. With content-control and customization features, BumperCar is the Mac web browser for concerned educators and parents alike. Built on Webkit, it offers a visually bright and appealing interface for kids.

Price: $29.95
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: Freeverse

Devon Agent

Devon Agent

DEVONagent

Providing a different and interesting take on browsing, DEVONagent is a full featured tool for conducing online research. With powerful search interface tools, the ability to save and repeat actions, and more than 130 plugins, it’s very much an artificially intelligent browser. Such functionality does come with a hefty price-tag.

Price: $49.95
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Devon Technologies

Social browsing with Flock

Social browsing with Flock

Flock

Flock is heralded as the ‘social web browser’, featuring full integration with popular social media applications (MySpace, Flickr, Blogger, FaceBook, Digg, Twitter and many more). It’s built on Firefox, and aims to streamline your whole experience of the Internet.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Powered By: Mozilla

Omniweb

Omniweb

OmniWeb

OmniWeb has an unique interface with advanced features for navigating through tabs and blocking advertisements. It’s also able to save browsing sessions automatically, allow the creation of ‘workspaces’ for different browsing tasks, and handle RSS news feeds.

Price: $14.95
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later
Developer: Omni Group

Shiira

Shiira

Shiira

Simply put, “the goal of the Shiira Project is to create a browser that is better and more useful than Safari”. No minor task! It features numerous transition effects, an Expose style tab interface, and a dynamic sidebar capable of performing different functions. Maybe not as simple and slick as Safari, but very full featured.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: HMDT

iCab

iCab

iCab

iCab has 10 reasons why it differs from other browsers. My favourite features are advertising filtering, a ‘kiosk’ browsing mode (great for showing off a site to clients), download/link management and the ability to download a website as a zip file.

Price: Shareware ($25)
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: Alexander Clauss

Fluid

Fluid

Fluid

Fluid is a completely different take on a browser, creating a separate desktop application for different websites you frequent on a regular basis. It’s great to use for web applications such as Flickr, Facebook and Twitter to keep them separate from other web browsing.

Price: Free
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Todd Ditchendorf

How do you browse?

As you can see, there’s no shortage of individual and niche browsers for the Mac. Some are certainly better than others for general use, but they’re all interesting in their own way. I use Fluid and Camino on a regular basis, along with dipping into Flock occasionally. I’m primarily a Safari fan, and never seem to stray away from the simple and effective interface for too long.

So… what do you use for browsing? Do you stick to the classic Safari like myself, or do you enjoy the bright colors and safety of Bumpercar!?


  • http://www.twitter.com/anthonybruno Anthony James Bruno

    Safari + Saft

  • http://iamoneman.com Paul Davis

    I still use Firefox for browsing, but still test in IE, Safari and opera. That just about covers the different ‘types’ of browsers there are.

  • http://www.caffeinatedstudio.com Brad Parnell

    I’m a huge Safari fan. simple and fast.

  • http://karinne.net Karinne

    I’m a long-time Firefox user and last month I tried to start using Safari more but… I just can’t get used to it. I love FF and all it’s extension so when I’m on a different browser (that don’t have all the extensions I’m used too), I sort of feel …. naked *gasp*

  • http://mileedge.com Rohit Sonika

    Did you just forget Cruz?

  • http://www.masey.com.au Masey

    I’ve been a long-time advocate for Flock as it puts all your web browsing and social networking needs at your fingertips in the one application. Pretty sweet stuff.

  • http://www.robblatt.com Rob Blatt

    I’m kinda surprised you missed Cruz. Made by the same guy as Fluid, but works for the web with the great additions of side panes and browsing sites like Digg in a Cover Flow fashion.

  • Nelson

    I’m a big Safari fan, I love it, its fast, simple, and its Apple… but almost don’t use it. I use FF3 ’cause I use 2 or 3 computers in different places and I like to have a few things always around. I need that all my bookmarks match in all 3 machines (using the free del.icio.us) , I need “Web developer tools”, Fireftp and Scribfire. If theres is plugs for Safari to do this I would love to change!

  • http://noelhurtley.com Noel Hurtley

    I use Safari with the ClicktoFlash and Inquisitor plugins. It’s simple, well designed and built on the blazing fast WebKit engine. I loved Firefox back when I was a Windows user but after switching to the Mac a few years ago I haven’t touched it since. It’s just too kludgy and slow.

  • Sebastain Stephenson

    Firefox

    but good god I wish it was a native mac app!

  • http://extra-special.ca Tyson

    I’m pretty much sold on Firefox for the time being. However, I do like the idea of a tab expose on Shiira. I will give it a shot, but will more than likely go right back to Firefox. Thanks for these!

  • http://www.jashsayani.com Jash Sayani

    I know all except Bumpcar and iCab !!

    BTW, iCab is really cool. Thanks AppStorm!

  • http://jvb.webb.se Johan

    I’ve stuck with Firefox, but as soon Chrome comes to Mac I’ll switch to that. Completely love Chrome on my PC!

    • http://laranzjoe.blogspot.com Lawrence77

      All say chrome is a copy of Safari!
      is it Johan?

    • http://www.dr-leech.com.ar/ Leandro

      Same here.. I need Chrome for Mac, and extensions for Chrome (already announced).
      Then it’s matter of time until Firebug reaches the Chrome laps.

  • fractalfrog

    Regarding Bumpercar: Please be adviced that this browser can only be regarded as adandon-ware after 2,5 years since the last update :-/
    Anyone needing more content filtering than what Leopard already offers are way better off with any browser of your choise and the free K9 Web Protection (http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/26858/k9-web-protection)

    As I recently switched from FF to Safari due to the iPhone integration, I feel the pain of FF users missing their extensions. The excellent Glims (http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/27708/glims) was however able to cover some of the features I miss from FF+various extensions.

  • http://teampvel.com dave rupert

    Good list! There’s also Stainless, a chrome-esque webkit-based safari clone. http://www.stainlessapp.com/

    As for me, I can’t wait for Chrome.

  • http://www.slugcreative.com james

    safari, firefox and opera

  • http://www.suberapps.com Ben

    Oooh so many I don’t know about. I’m using Safari, beefed it up with Glims http://www.machangout.com/

  • http://macsteps.com/blog/ Tom Borowski

    My regular browser is Safari with Saft. For web development, I use FF with Firebug. Indispensable for debugging CSS. But FF feels so sluggish, I only use it when I really need to.

  • http://jasonkoning.com Jason Koning

    Firefox. I use the others (Safari, Opera) for testing purposes mainly.

  • Jon

    I’m using Safari with Glims and GlimmerBlocker. Also use FF. Looking forward to Chrome for Mac.

  • holy

    wow.
    does no one else use opera as their main browser? i love the customizeability.

    • Emilio

      I LOVE OPERA, its all I use. Having used it since highschool now, over 5 years there is no way I can stand the inefficiencies of all the other browsers.

  • http://www.subooa.com Matt

    Firefox for me. Interesting list though.

  • Marxx

    I use Safari for sunday-browsing and Firefox for heavy-browsing..
    I would love to use Safari more!! I just can’t “live” without Firefox extensions.. :/

  • http://www.ademaweb.nl Jeroen

    firefox. I keep using firebug all the time. however I prefer the simplicity and speed of safari.

  • http://www.cr.eate.in Matt Hamilton

    Used to be FF, Then moved to Safari, Then moved to Camino, Then back to Safari. Now awaiting Chrome – Yea… I’m a browser Junkie…Just reading all these peoples comments make me miss extensions :’(

  • http://www.tutorialsfornoobs.com David Turnbull

    I’ve tried Flock, and I used Safari when I originally got a Macbook Pro, but I always come back to Firefox. It just has the best mix of speed, customization and awesomeness.

  • http://www.constantinpotorac.com Constantin Potorac

    I guess I was too busy loving and getting used to safari and had no idea about the rest of them. I also use firefox from time to time but most of the time it works really bad.

  • http://john.onolan.org John

    Nice post, but I only use Firefox… once you’ve found a browser that works you don’t really need another one.

  • http://www.blogbydesign.com Corey Freeman

    I gotta say, I have to stay with firefox. It just works so amazingly well. I’ve tried flock, and it’s pretty cool, but after a while feels kind of bulky.

  • http://www.CartoGaia.com Adam

    If foxmarks worked cross browser,I’d be more flexible. I can’t live without that one!

  • http://abdusfauzi.com abdusfauzi

    on top of all those browsers, Safari is the fastest on my Macbook Pro. :) Love it!

  • http://www.ad2.com.br Fabiano Coelho

    I like both FF and Safari and use them for different tasks :)

  • hengsu
  • http://j-run.ca/ Mondo Jay


    I’m back and forth between Firefox, Camino and Safari…
    Each have their strengths and weaknesses…

  • iTuomas

    I use Safari. I’ve tried to learn to use something else like Firefox because people say it’s more stable and faster than Safari. Also i’ve tried Shiira, Opera and Camino – but I always find myself coming back to Safari. It’s easy to use, fast in my opinion and has the best bookmark management. Google Chrome will be interesting, it might actually be the first browser to take Safari’s place in my use, but only if it’s not a direct port from windows version.

  • http://blog.emobilez.com Sajid

    Thanks for this nice list. I believe which platform one uses, Firefox is the best browser one can find.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1272885668 banananoizz

    webkit (night), Firefox (for development)

  • http://simonewphoto.com themisfit

    Thanks for the list. I have been meaning to try flock.

  • Banjobarry

    Firefox, since 2005! I only use Safari if for some reason a page crashes in Firefox, or if I need to log into two accounts on one service simultaneously. Safari doesn’t have a wealth of extensions or the huge community always making new things available. I feel lost without Firefox. Whenever I use a public computer and have to use Internet Explorer, I hate the Alt + D shortcut to select the address bar.

    The only reason Safari is nice sometimes is because it loads so darn quickly compared to Firefox (with 10 extensions installed).

    It always does my heart good to see Firefox eroding Internet Explorer’s market share.

  • http://www.wangapoa.com Sebastian

    Safari Firefox and Shiira sometimes

  • Isaac

    I use Firefox because I’ve been using it for years on Windows. I think the Camino project is now pretty much defunct, as Firefox 3 looks really good on Mac, while Camino looks like a bad copy of Internet Explorer 6. The buttons in Camino just look really out-of-touch with Leopard’s look and I think they should just give up and say that Firefox is the best Gecko browser for Mac.

    I don’t really like Safari because it just doesn’t look as good as Firefox 3, and doesn’t have such great web dev features (Firebug). I’ll admit that it does better for web dev out-of-the-box, but that soon stumbles with the lack of add-ons. Plus, Safari uses the annoying WebKit rendering engine, which renders most sites with a few small visual bugs that really get to me (eg. Facebook). Also, the Facebook search auto-complete doesn’t work with keyboard-selection, so I get a bit annoyed sometimes…

    I DO, however, LOVE Fluid – despite the bugs/standards-compliance of WebKit. Prism is a bit tacky to be honest, while Fluid is just pro. It integrates properly with OS X and feels like a real Mac app, not a cheap version of a poor windows app.

    Isaac

  • Evan

    OmniWeb is free now.

    • Ethan

      OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      OmniWeb is FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.tukhtaev.com/blog tukhtaev

    I use Stainless and Firefox with all plugins.

  • Alexis

    Safari, Stainless and Fluid.

  • http://www.sebkom.me/ SebKom

    Opera and Safari for me. Opera is innovative and I have feelings for it (been using it since its 6th version, when it still had that banner on the top right side) and Safari is probably the best browser ever made.

    Firefox is better than both but only when you install a number of plugins.

    By the way, Flock announced it won’t keep using the Firefox engine and will probably go with Chrome’s one.

  • http://www.m65jacket.com m65

    saft is great

  • http://simonewittenbergblog.com kelowna photographer

    Flock is nice for it’s social media integration.

  • http://misfitmedia.ca carson

    I like Safari, Opera and Firefox. But flock is good to.

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