Also known as a micro browser or a mobile browser, a mini browser is an Internet browser that is designed for use with smaller handheld devices. The idea behind this type of browser application is to provide the most effective viewing options for users when accessing the Internet using a mobile phone, a PDA or any type of similar device that does not offer the benefit of a viewing area the size of a netbook, a laptop, or a desktop computer. Most designs offer somewhat simplified views of web sites as a means of accommodating the lower memory capacity and bandwidth that is still common with a number of handheld devices.
One of the benefits of a mini browser is that users can access web sites with relatively little ease, depending on the strength of the wireless signal used by the mobile service provider. Typically, the provider will enable the device with a specific type of phone browser that is a good fit for the type of device used. This means that even older styles of cellular phones that have a small viewing screen and are not equipped with a QWERTY keyboard can still enjoy access to the Internet, making it easy to check various types of free email accounts via the connection.
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Over the years, advances in technology have improved the functionality of the mini browser. A number of web sites now offer alternatives to the main sites in the form of web pages that are designed with the mobile web browser in mind. This is especially helpful for consumers who use their handheld devices for searches, email, and other functions when away from larger computers. There are even gaming sites that have designed online game options suitable for play using a mini browser. As usage of cellular phones equipped with WiFi capability continue to grow in popularity, there is a good chance that more web sites will create alternative versions that are ideal for viewing through this particular medium.
As with other types of browser options, not all mini browser applications are equal. Some offer features not found in others, making it possible to find a browser that is the best fit for the mobile or PDA’s capabilities. Most browsers of this type are available for a free download, making it easy to test drive a particular browser before choosing to load it onto the mobile device and use it exclusively for web browsing.