I work with an interactive web portal that has a few single-page apps and complex html structure. The aim is to support all browsers that our customers use. We have implemented responsive web design to handle mobile platforms. We test on multiple platforms (mobile and desktop) to make sure that it works everywhere.

I recognise that this is a goal that is difficult to reach, especially for customers that use uncommon browsers. However, the browser (or browsers) that has given us the most grief lately is the native browser on Android phones and tablets. We suffer copied canvases, strange phenomena where the user cannot click on html elements that are close to the edge of the screen, formatting issues that are difficult to understand and/or fix, and other things.

Also, debugging on the native browser is cumbersome since you can't easily log from javascript using console.log.

My thought is basically that I want to ignore the native Android browser while testing, and bugs that show up only on the native Android browser in production will not get fixed. Is that a bad thing? Do people in general expect to be able to use their native Android browser to handle advanced web pages? I realize that there are a lot of Android users about, but perhaps they're not as used to working with complex web sites compared to other platforms? Will users understand if we recommend them to install Chrome to be able to use parts of our web site?

  • This sounds like it would fit UX.SE better.
    – svidgen
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 15:36
  • 3
    I use the Android native browser on my SIII, which is fully updated to 4.4.2. I ran into a site that did exactly what you want to do the other day. Did I download Chrome? No. I left. There was nothing on that site so valuable to me that it was worth installing another app.
    – cbojar
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 15:38

1 Answer 1


Based on some research, I dug up some statistics for which browsers are most common in mobile users at this URL

The most popular browsers, determined by Web pages visited are: Android with 25.5 percent; iPhone with 21.4 percent; Chrome with 15.6 percent; Opera with 12.3 percent; UC Browser with 11.1 percent, according to StatCounter (April 2014).

Also you need to look at your own internal statistics on whether your users use a certain type of mobile browsers before you make a decision. I would advise to drop support for the native browser and just ask your users to download the Chrome or Firefox browser. I would give your users a choice because if they use Chrome they are more likely to be tracked by Google than if they used Firefox.

Please do more research before you make your decision because this is something that will effect your users' experience and your business.


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