10/24/08
6:18 am

MacMost Now 150: Mac Web Browser Alternatives

Gary Rosenzweig takes a look at some alternatives to using Safari or Firefox on Mac. They include Camino, Flock, Opera, Web Kit Nightly Builds and OmniWeb.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. Today let's take a look at some web browser alternatives.
So if you've got a Mac you've got Safari and chances are that's what you use, that's the main Mac browser. Second to that is Firefox which a lot of people use and we've talked about before. But there's actually a whole bunch of alternative browsers. Let's go and take a look at a handful of them.
So the first one we should probably mention is WebKit, what WebKit is the open source browser behind Safari. So it's actually really just Safari, but there are new releases of it every single night. That's right you can go and download it at nightly.webkit.org and it's a good alternative if you really want the cutting edge version of Safari. A lot of people also report that WebKit is faster than the currently released version of Safari so if speed is important to you, you might want to get this free browser.
Another open source and free browser is Camino and this is also one that I find to be incredibly fast. You can download it at caminobrowser.org
And most alternative web browsers are based on a certain development kit that you can see browser to browser, but not Opera. Opera is based on its own set of source code so it's a little bit different than everything else, it's also pretty fast. You can go and download it at opera.com
So OmniWeb is a little bit different than all the other browsers in that it actually costs something. It costs $15, of course there is a free trial as well. You get it at omnigroup.com now what you get for this, there are a lot of advanced features. Like, for instance, the ability to have work spaces. That's a complete set of windows, tabs, preferences, everything that you can customize for a different browsing experience and save for later.
Now perhaps the most unusual web browser in our group is one called Flock, you can get it at flock.com. It's also our free web browser based on Firefox, but it has a ton of extra features you can see right away. In a sidebar it presents things like all your social networks so for instance here I've got Twitter in the left sidebar. I can update my status and I can also check on everybody else's status who I'm following you can do the same thing with Facebook or sites like YouTube so there's a ton of different little top bars and sidebars for tracking different things in your social meeting networks. You can even have a homepage established that combines all sorts of different things like RSS feeds kind of like My Yahoo! or iGoogle, but done inside your web browser.
So basically all of these web browsers are kind of similar, the differences are very subtle. As they've been adding features over the years they've been getting closer and closer to each other and there's really not much incentive to switch from Safari or Firefox to one of these. Firefox, though, has the big advantage of all the add-ins so if there's some feature you really need chances are somebody's created an add-on for it. Flock has an advantage if you're a really big user of social media if you're checking your Facebook account or Twitter account every five minuets then you probably want to check out Flock. And also you probably want to check out Camino if you really want something just super fast and simple. Another one to check out in that class is one called iCab, as well.
The rest of them have features that may or may not appeal to you, they all are either free or have a free trial so if you really are interested in getting a different browser I encourage you all to look at them. I'll put all the links in the show notes at MacMost.com and download them all and compare them for yourselves. If you find anything interesting be sure to leave a comment to this episode at MacMost.com. Till next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.