If there's a software that developers use more than text editors or IDE, it has to be web browsers, right? From your occasional Google searches to fix that pesky little bug in your code to browsing memes on Reddit, it all starts with firing up your web browsers. However, not all browsers are the same.
As a web developer, you need a browser that makes you more productive by providing tools for analyzing and debugging code. And that's what this post is going to cover. Whether you're a casual user or a hardcore frontend developer, there is something for everyone. Let's get right into it!
Firefox Developer Edition
Firefox, one of the most popular web browsers out there, has a special edition of its browser that is crafted for developers like you and me. We're talking about Firefox Developer Edition. The first question that would arise in our mind would be what makes the developer edition, you know, the developer edition. Here's a list of some features:
- Lots of experimental features that aren't found in mainstream browsers.
- Identify inactive CSS on a webpage.
- Awesome DevTools to debug and inspect your code.
- Make CSS grids easier to work with using visualization.
- Get information on the fonts used on a webpage.
What's special? Firefox is undoubtedly one of the best and popular browsers. They are privacy-oriented and fast. The fact that they have an official developer edition makes it even better.
Sounds incredible, right? You can read more about the features mentioned above on their official website. Firefox Developer Edition is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS for free, so nothing stops you from trying it out.
Sizzy is a browser that focuses on speeding up your development workflow by providing excellent features and plugins. It is incredibly feature-rich and does stand up to its promise of making you more productive and speed up your development workflow. The list of features that Sizzy offers is quite long, but here are some that I felt were noteworthy:
- Simulate and screenshot your webpage on multiples devices at the same time.
- Inspect an element on all devices using the Universal Inspect Element feature.
- Check how your website reacts and performs under various network conditions.
- Spotlight-like feature to access everything with just your keyboard.
- Session manager to switch between users with any manual work.
What's special? If you were looking for a feature-rich browser with tools that you won't find in any other browsers, Sizzy comes pretty close to it. It really is a browser made for developers.
There is just one caveat, though. Sizzy is not a free browser. It works on a monthly or annual subscription model, but they are generous enough to give you a 14-day free trial to try it out. Sizzy is available on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
If you felt that Sizzy seemed a bit overwhelming for you, Polypane aims to strike the perfect balance between your classic browser and a developer-oriented one. However, this does not mean that Polypane lacks useful features. It keeps the important ones from Sizzy while excluding the not-so-useful ones. Here's what Polypane offers you:
- Simulate your website on multiple viewports, from mobile to 5K screens.
- Eighty accessibility tests to make your website a pleasant experience for everyone.
- Social media previews supporting numerous platforms.
- It comes with live and hot reloading by default, from plain HTML to React apps.
- Supports extensions for all your favorite frameworks: React, Angular, Vue, Svelte, and much more.
What's Special? Polypane pays particular emphasis on making your website accessible. This is evident as it comes with features like color blindness simulators, which you won't find on your mainstream browsers.
Like Sizzy, Polypane works on a subscription-based payment model as well. But the good thing is, they, too, provide you a free 14-day trial with no credit card details required to get started. Go and check out this fantastic browser on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
- Brave Browser claims to be around 3x faster than Google Chrome while also optimized for better battery life and memory consumption.
- It comes with an inbuilt ad-blocker and security measure to make your browsing session secure.
- Syncs with your Android phone or iPhone seamlessly.
- IPFS integration to browse websites without intermediaries.
- Absolutely zero private data collection.
What's Special? Brave rewards you for using it. Yes! By optionally turning on the Brave Rewards option, you get a small and discreet ad notification that you don't even have to click. With each notification, you receive BAT, a crypto token. You can use BATs to support the publishers you love for free through contributing your BAT.
Brave is a reliable choice if you're looking for an excellent daily use browser. It's fast, it's secure, and just plain good. It is free, and you can use it on your computer (Windows, Linux, macOS) and your mobile devices (Android, iOS).
I just had to include this one. Google Chrome is THE most popular browser. In a survey conducted by statcounter in December 2020, Google Chrome accounts for over 60% of users, miles ahead of its competition. As a developer, this also means that you should definitely test your code on Chrome before your ship it to production. So, why should you consider Chrome?
- One of the best browsers in terms of feature compatibility.
- Highly popular with a large user base.
- Integration with the Google ecosystem.
- The industry standard with tons of extensions.
- A great DevTools.
What's Special? To be honest, there's nothing fancy about Chrome, which is one reason why it's so popular. It's aimed towards everyone. Considering that a ton of people use it, you might as well keep it handy.
You don't have to use Chrome. But it is undeniable that it will hold the majority of the market share for the next few years as well. Chrome isn't really privacy-oriented, but the Google ecosystem integration is pretty tempting. It's available for free on all the major platforms.
So, that was my list of some of the browsers which I felt were awesome for developers. Do you agree? Or did I miss out on anything? Let's discuss on Twitter!