UC Browser, which is one of the popular mobile browsers, with over 50 crore downloads, has been banned in India. The government said that it decided to impose the ban as the browser was amongst the 59 apps that “pose a threat to sovereignty and security” of the country. This means that instead of downloading the UC Browser for the time being, you should look for some alternatives. There are many renowned browsers that can replace the solution developed by Chinese company UC Web, such as Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge. But if you're looking for specifically "Indian" browsers that you can download on your Android device, we have five options you can use instead of UC Browser.
While we can vouch for the look and feel of these apps, security testing of all these apps by third parties isn't available, and our recommendation would be to stick to the tried and tested apps from the biggest tech companies in the world, which face the most scrutiny. With that said, if you're very keen on apps from Indian companies, here are the ones we thought offered the best experience:
Developed by a Bengaluru-based startup BlueSky Inventions, Bharat Browser's home screen has content from Indian states and union territories. The browser is claimed to be designed under an 8MB app size to work even with low-cost Android devices. Also, it has features such as an integrated search bar and real-time news updates in nine Indian languages. There are also dedicated sections for videos and games. Further, the browser has a section specifically for kids with preloaded videos, rhymes, and kids games.
Download: Bharat Browser
Epic Privacy Browser has been built by a Web app company Hidden Riflex founded in Bengaluru by entrepreneur Alok Bhardwaj. The browser is based on the Chromium project and is touted to enhance your privacy with features such as fingerprinting protection and encrypted connection preference. It also has always-on incognito browsing and a tracker counter that can be enabled after installing an AdBlock extension to let you view how many ad trackers are blocked during your browsing sessions.
Download: Epic Privacy Browser
For users who are specifically looking for a Web browser with an “Indian” moniker, Google Play has Indian Browser, whose developers claim it is designed for users on a 4G network. The browser comes with over 10 search engine options and has features to block images for a faster browsing experience. It also has a Night mode and the ability to switch between light and dark themes. Further, Indian Browser comes with an Ads Blocker to let you block ads while browsing the Web. It is developed by a Delhi-based developer.
Download: Indian Browser
Indian telecom giant Reliance Jio also has its native JioBrowser as an Indian solution against the likes of UC Browser and Google Chrome. The Web browser comes with regional language support and includes a dark theme. It also offers features such as schedule downloads, news alerts, and a QR code scanner. The JioBrowser app also supports voice search and includes the ability to provide ball-by-ball updates during a cricket match. Furthermore, JioBrowser comes in an as small app size as 6.7MB.
If you aren't convinced by JioBrowser, Omigo can be an option for your smartphone. The browser offers the latest videos and daily news. It also comes with an ad blocker and is claimed to clean all your browsing history once you exit the app. The Omigo browser supports multiple tabs and includes a translate page. It also supports voice search. Moreover, the browser has been developed by a team in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.
In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.