Mobile browser for phones and devices when away from home
Windows 8.1 / Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP
UC Browser is a powerful and popular mobile web browser that’s now available on Windows.
The UC Browser is based on Chrome and was originally available only on mobile devices, and it’s in that mobile space that it garnered a strong following. That growing support has now made it worthwhile to bring to Windows as an alternative to Chrome, IE, Firefox, and so forth. This is a particularly good option for those who use UC on their mobile devices and want a consistent experience at home.
A benefit of being based on Chrome is that as Google adds to and refines the underlying engine, those performance enhancements are automatically available to you. UC Browser can also easily masquerade itself as Internet Explorer/Edge or other browsers, which is handy when you encounter a website designed for a particular experience. Being based on Chrome means that the browser is also very Google-friendly and takes full advantage of those many services.
It fully supports Chrome extensions, and you can use those to customize or add features to the browser. The developers have also chosen to integrate some features that “everyone” uses. Ad Block, for instance, is built-in. There’s no need to download, install, and configure it. However, if you’re a power user, you can still take control with subscriptions, whitelists, and so forth.
The browsing experience is consistently smooth. The tabbed interface is easy to use but also quite versatile and powerful as you master it. Mouse and touch gestures are supported so that you can complete common tasks faster. UC Browser also features an intricate control panel that you can use to customize your experience. In fact, the developers expose even more options than are readily available in Chrome, which arguably makes it more customizable.
There are a number of built-in features that help to distinguish UC Browser from Chrome. Pop-out video, for instance, which is a carryover from the mobile experience, streamlines watching a video or moving it to another screen in a multi-monitor setup. There’s also an integrated downloader so that you don’t need extensions or apps to download and convert video from websites like YouTube.
UC Browser also features themes in a way that Chrome doesn’t. You can customize nearly every visual aspect of the program, and there are many community-created themes to choose from. UC Browser features synchronization across devices. That means bookmarks made on your phone will be available on your desktop PC. This is facilitated via Cloud Boost, which also lets you share files across devices and take advantage of other Cloud-based services.
There’s also UC Free Wi-Fi, which lets you create a hotspot you can share. At home, that’s a great way to provide Internet service to guest accounts if your router doesn’t support it. On your laptop, it makes it easy to share services with other laptops and mobile devices as well.
While the developers of UC Browser have worked hard to differentiate it from Chrome, it’s still a Chrome derivative. What does that mean? Well, everything UC Browser does can be achieved in Chrome through customization. It also means that if you don’t like the “feel” of Chrome, you won’t like UC Browser either. That said, UC Browser delivers a rich browsing experience, and if you like it, you get to enjoy it without all the work that may be involved in personalizing Chrome.
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