Owning a MacBook Pro, I often switch between Safari and Google Chrome, especially when I have to use two different accounts for certain apps like Asana and Freshbooks, that don’t support multi-account logins. On my phone, however, I’ve always stuck to Chrome, so the Kiwi Browser experience has been refreshing.
For the major part of it, I was very happy with the lightning speed with which it loads, and the homepage is naturally intuitive. I have become accustomed to the Night Mode; hence the customizable night mode is an added attraction. Transitioning to the Kiwi browser has been easy, mainly because it supports most chrome desktop extensions. This dials-up your experience, as it feels seamless if you’re moving from any other Browser.
Kiwi does what it’s supposed to do – satisfy you with its Privacy features thanks to the extensive settings that are able to hide sensitive content and bar screenshots in Incognito mode. I simply enjoyed the (optional) bottom address bar, which comes very handy when you are using only one hand. The one thing you should note here is that the toolbar is always on by default if you have Accessibility services running. You can change this though.
One of the reasons why you may want the toolbar always on-screen is if you have a large screen and keeping the address bar always handy; it is a good idea. It removes the need to scroll. Very big-screened smartphones add a certain strain to your fingers, and if the UI x UX can look into solving this major problem, then it’s a step in the right direction. Added to the settings is the ‘Swipe Support’ that allows you to navigate easily. Simply ‘swipe down’ on the address bar and get onto the tab switcher. To close a tab, you can either ‘Swipe Left or Right’ in the switcher.
I can reiterate at this point that Kiwi is one of the easiest browsers I have used and the founder Arnaud Granal and his team, has put in much effort to fix the limitations and invasiveness of existing browsers. Perhaps this is why tracking and ad blockers play a major role in Kiwi’s features. This new platform gives us the freedom to customize the browser as per our requirements. Overall, the aim is to give the user peace of mind, making browsing a safe experience, and using a fast browser that has minimal distractions.
Kiwi is an amazing browser and one of the reasons is that it supports Chrome extensions that are available at the Chrome Web Store. It is a different topic that the Chrome Web Store does not have a mobile-friendly design. Hence navigation on the page, from your phone can be cumbersome. For sure Kiwi can’t control this, but it’s a shame that it interrupts an otherwise seamless integration.
The one other thing that I noticed was that there is no lag for websites, given that I had installed a couple of my Chrome extensions. This did not slow down my phone’s performance either. I particularly am a fan of the dark theme for the UI and also for the websites. You can even choose to make desktop sites, as the default you opt for.
Done with Ads and Trackers?
It’s great to know that you can browse with ease, knowing that your Kiwi Browser will take care of ads and with the Powerful Ad and Pop-Up Blocker. Even Invasive Trackers that stalk you and snoop for your online browsing habits get blocked thanks to the Kiwi Browser. Both of these elements contribute to the fast page loading speeds of the browser.
Taking the security to another level is the fact that Kiwi is ‘is the very first android browser’ to block hackers and deter them from using your phone’s processor to mine cryptocurrency. Not many of us think about this aspect when it comes to securing our phone and its software or hardware.
What We Think
The verdict on this one is easy. Since Kiwi is based on Chromium, it is easy to make the switch. Transitioning and customizing the browser to your requirements is a breeze. Unlike the stark differences that I notice between Safari and Chrome, it was easy to forget that I was working with the Kiwi Browser. The only thing you need to get used to is the three dots on the right and expanded menu there. Translated into over 60 languages, the choice to customize file download to your folders and easy import and export of bookmarks buttons, add to the positive profile of this browser.