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Tech review: Best mobile browsers for internet navigation 

Web browsers are among the oldest but still most-used apps of the internet era. While most people take them for granted and use the same browser for years, there are many to choose from. Here are four top web browsers for mobile devices, each of which has recently been upgraded.

Google Chrome

(iOS, Android; free)

Chrome, the world’s most popular mobile and desktop browser, syncs all your online information, warns you about malware-laden sites, and has a newly enhanced Google Password Manager that lets you log in quickly and safely from any device. Even the almighty Apple has taken note. Beginning with the just-released iOS 14, iPhone and iPad users can set Chrome (or any other browser) to automatically open web links, a feature Apple has resisted for years.

Microsoft Edge

(iOS, Android; free)

When the World Wide Web exploded in the mid-1990s, Netscape was king of the browser, until it was knocked off its throne by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, which in turn was toppled by Chrome. Edge is Microsoft’s newest browser, and it is a great mobile device choice for those who use the desktop version. Edge has recently been updated with website tracking privacy features and includes AdBlock Plus to reduce annoying online ads.

Firefox

(iOS, Android; free)

The first version of Firefox was released exactly 18 years ago Wednesday and has been a popular alternative web browser for many ever since. The newest version has been souped-up and is faster than ever. It includes enhanced tracking protection, which blocks ad trackers and malware, and features a growing collection of add-ons. Firefox adherents especially like that its developer is a not-for-profit company.

DuckDuckGo

(iOS, Android; free)

The product of an independent developer, DuckDuckGo started as a privacy-first search-engine alternative to Google and has branched out with browsers for Android and iOS. Unlike Chrome and Edge, DuckDuckGo doesn’t track users and its browser is loaded with privacy features that prevents websites from collecting information on you. Earlier this month, DuckDuckGo added new functionality features to its iPad version.

Grade deflation

Students using the internet to get answers for their homework generally ace their assignments but fail the true test of knowledge. A Rutgers University study found that students “rapidly forget both the question and answer” and do worse on subsequent exams with the same questions. In 2008, 14 percent of students did worse on exams than on homework. By 2017, that number rose to 55 percent.

— PETER KING

Video game sales stay hot

Although Long Island and the rest of the nation stirred from shelter-in-place routines last month, one stay-at-home staple continued its surge in popularity. Sales of video games, hardware and accessories totaled $3.3 billion in August, up 37 percent from August 2019, according to Port Washington-based NPD Group. Hottest of the hot: Nintendo Switch set a new single-month sales record for a video game console, NPD said.

— PETER KING

Cool beans

Customers buying coffee at Starbucks can now use a code on the bags to find out where their beans came from and where they were roasted. The new tool uses blockchain technology and Starbucks hopes it can attract young consumers who flock to small craft shops where coffee is roasted onsite. The tool isn’t available for Starbucks bags purchased outside of stores or on a per-cup level.

— BLOOMBERG NEWS

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