By Mohseen Lala • geekinsider.com • May 15, 2013
Getting bored of the same old browsers? Then welcome to the 4 best specialized web browsers, all of which sport special features and uses you won’t find in traditional desktop web surfing portals.
Specialized Web Browsers
Sometimes, there is a need for precision, special features and even a change of scenery in one’s web browsers. There are times when the big five, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer just don’t cut it anymore. Times when we need new blood that’s faster, more specialized and just plain different.
So, without any further buffering, let’s get started.
Lunascape is unique for the three rendering engines that it is built upon, namely Gecko (Firefox uses Gecko), Webkit (Safari uses Webkit) and Trident (used by Internet Explorer). The browser was developed in Tokyo, by the Lunascape Corporation, and is currently available on Windows, all iOS devices and Android. Although Android users should note that it doesn’t work very well on low end processors. The Mac OS X version is tagged as “Coming Soon” on their website.
The Lunascape browser is not as add-on friendly as Firefox, or as fancy looking as Safari when on Windows, but its three engines (they can seamlessly auto switch) means that there isn’t a website, image, video or web code it cannot display. This specialized web browser is perfect for web developers and designers to use as a compatibility and comparability tool for the websites they build.
The Zac browser is the only specialized web browser developed from the ground up to help teenagers and children with autism, and the homepage shows that. The project kicked off in 2009 when developer John LeSieur’s grandson, Zack, was diagnosed with severe autism at the tender age of 13. Of course, normal browsers were simply too frustrating to use, and so John got to work modifying the KidCD browser into Zac Browser. Keep in mind that although it is free, the Zac specialized web browser is proprietary software and does restrict access to certain websites.
This specialized web browser is currently available for both Mac and PC, and requires a free download of Adobe Air before installation can proceed. But it’s absolutely perfect, as it is simple and very efficiently organized for people with autism, EDD and various other attention issues.
Do you ever wish your web browser and music player were the same thing? Apparently so did a certain Rob Lord and friends at Pioneers of the Inevitable. They got to work making Songbird, which is a specialized web and music player that allows users to access the internet and download, purchase, listen, play, import and sync music while surfing the internet. Users can also have Songbird scan their local hard drives and import playlists, songs and albums. So, even if there’s no internet, there still is a music player to listen to.
This musically specialized web browser/music store can play all the common music formats (MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, Apple Lossless, WMA), is highly customizable via skins referred to as “Feathers” and is cross platform with full support across Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android. The Linux version is christened Nightingale; audiophiles and netizens of the world, this is the perfect music browser for you.
The world is now one giant, interconnected hub of vitally trivial information, and that’s where Maxthon shines. A cloud based alternative web browser, that prides itself on its “stop anywhere, pick up anywhere” functionality. Maxthon is Geek Inside’rs best specialized browser, for it does everything Google Chrome can do, but more efficiently. The browser is designed to take full advantage of dual core CPUs, and this makes it feel smooth, fast and quick even in older systems.
Originally known as MyIE2, the browser uses a passport system, and can work across any range of mobile or stationary devices that are signed up to an individual user’s passport. History, tabs, information, password and preferences are all saved in a cloud, which can also be used to share files, videos and images. Maxthon is the proud winner of CNET WebWare 100 Awards in 2008 and the following year, and ranked number 97 on PCWorld’s list of the 100 Best Products of 2011.
There you have it, the best specialized web browsers if you’re into online music, deal with autism, enjoy tinkering on the web and love the convenience of cloud browsing. Which are your favorite web browsers? And why do you like them? Tell us in the comments below!