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And can't you just install an alternative browser? do none exist for the ipad?

Nothing official, as Apple only allows browser shells (which use the iOS version of WebKit), no complete browsers.

Opera Mini does the rendering server side so that isn't beholden to that rule.

When I tried to install a recent Chrome on my in-laws' ipad, it required a newer version of IOS than was available for that model of Ipad.

While there are other "browsers," they are really just different user interfaces wrapped around the same Safari rendering engine.

Most likely the 'crash' is the browser being terminated due to low memory. Alternative browsers would have the same problem.

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