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Android users have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to web browsers. Chrome, Dolphin, Opera, and Firefox all have their pros and cons, not to mention their fans. It's been a while since we had a promising newcomer hit the mobile browser space, but the Go Launcher Dev Team (makers of the customization-friendly GO Launcher and Next Launcher 3D, among many others) are giving it a shot. Next Browser is a free download, available now for devices running Android 2.2 and higher.

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Next Browser takes bits and pieces from all the major Android browsers and mishmashes them together. The home screen is split between three panels: a self-populating selection of your most visited sites, a la Chrome, an Opera-ish Speed Dial page complete with bookmarks and a search bar, and Next View, a set of contextual RSS buttons that works like a simpler version of Flipboard. Start typing in the URL bar, and a handful of relevant auto-complete terms will pop up, easily seen and separated in some high-contrast bubbles. Tabs can be accessed with a quick swipe to the right, extensions to the left (like Dolphin), though at the moment there appears to be only three: Evernote, Facebook, and Pocket.

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The Settings menu is a bit sparse when compared to Dolphin, but much, much more customizable than Chrome. Right away you have options of changing the default search engine from Google to Bing, Yahoo, or Baidu, and you can swap between mobile, desktop, or iOS user agents on the fly. There's an integrated download manager with a file path setting (yes!) and bookmark syncing tied to your Google account. Unfortunately, bookmarks can't be imported from Chrome, only the default Android browser. A surprisingly rich Voice Search option is enabled whenever you press a hard or soft Search button, with quick links to News, Video, and Image queries - a nice touch.

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Next is missing a few of the features that would make me consider it as a "daily driver," namely an option for full-screen browsing and desktop integration. But even at this early stage, the browser is fast, stable, and has enough polish that it should win quite a few users. There are no in-app purchases or premium versions at the moment, but I wouldn't be surprised to see those pop up somewhere down the line. With the GO Dev Team's reputation for ceaseless improvement, Next Browser is one to keep your eye on.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • jeffhesser

    Go launcher and SMS are the first things i install on every device i get my hands on but I can't imagine replacing chrome... It's the cross-platform functionality that will keep Chrome relevant in the face of almost any feature a browser can offer.

    • sgtguthrie

      To me Chrome for Android could be better. I just couldn't do without the bookmark sync with my desktop browsers. Or tab sync, if it ever worked right would be nice ;-)

    • primalxconvoy

      I didn't like chrome. No options to save bookmarks in custom folders etc.

  • http://twitter.com/pertzepzioa GAYchester United

    any app of GO team? it's a no go for me

    • VandrĂ© Brunazo

      Why you no like notification spam?

      • http://twitter.com/pertzepzioa GAYchester United

        ?? I did not get you

      • primalxconvoy

        You can turn off notifications for all go products in the application settings. Works for me.

    • Todd Hower

      Same for me.. Their apps have gone downhill. Ads & spam everywhere. text messaging all the time saying buy this, buy this.. I couldn't take it any longer. I got rid of every GO app I had.

    • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

      Exactly , you can't trust any chinese dev . they might be spying on you

  • imneveral0ne

    I can't say I've ever used a GO product for more than a few hours. I don't think this is gonna change my mind...

  • jastonas

    If I make a google search in Chrome (either desktop or android), google now collects that information giving me nice info once in a while.

    Will this work with this browser?

    • kamiller42

      That should work with any browser so long as you are signed into Google at the time of the search. Works with my Firefox.

      • http://profiles.google.com/jastonas Iasonas Matsoukas

        Thanx for the tip!

  • MasterMuffin

    Bad scores on benchmarks and looks just like Opera

  • andre08

    The go dev team bwahahaha what a joke i wont try it

    • imneveral0ne

      Don't knock it till you try it. I tried it, don't like it much. It's not bad, it's just not different. At least now I know.

  • WhappySap

    Why do most people hate GO?

    • Michael Ta

      because their apps are for noobs

      • hyperbolic

        100% correct sir.

        • Michael Ta

          seriously, when I got my first android I installed the GO launcher because of its "pretty" screenshot, but after a few minutes it feels like another Samsung Touchwiz. I'm not saying it's bad but it's full of clutters and unnecessary features, sucking the battery and memories out of my phone and being counter productive instead.

          GO sms, GO launcher, GO browser, GO, GO GO GO GO GO everywhere!! I'm sick of it!!

          my 2 cents.

      • fixxmyhead

        the browser is pretty good. transitioning effects are very smooth. i dont see anything wrong with this just haters hating.

    • Paul

      No idea. I actually like their full suite of products. In the past I've had phones that were "Go'd" out, Go Launcher, Go Contacts/Dialer, Go Locker, etc. it wasn't bad and themes were awesome. I'd wonder though about installing so much Go stuff, how it affected battery life, but it seemed ok. But my Note 2 is so customized around Touchwiz that I really haven't switched to custom launchers, less I lose some S-Pen functionality.

      • primalxconvoy

        My note 2 is on go launcher and go locker. What spen functionality have I lost?

        To be honest I never bother with stock apps and launchers as I want custom folders and icons etc.

    • misterE33

      i pretty religiously stuck with go launcher on my 2.2/2.3 phone, but they seem to have a bit of bloat, and aren't shy about pushing you into using a lot of their other apps and services. it's not terrible, but i can see it being annoying. plus, by the time you're done, they could have complete control over your phone with all of the permissions required.
      they also changed the ui for most of their stuff about a year ago to the bubbly, white/green scheme which i personally don't like.

      I'm sure other people have their reasons, but that's about it for me.

      • tB

        Holo Launcher runs great on 2.x devices, had it on my last device to get rid of GO

    • kamiller42

      For me, Go spams their users and their apps are bloated. look at Go Sms. it's like 3 apps in one: Sms, IM, and a store.

    • https://www.facebook.com/MusicalWolf Todd Wolf

      Because their apps monitor your keyboard strokes, not to mention their own keyboard that undoubtedly does the same. The Go Team wants all your personal data so they can capitalize on it without you knowing. This is why not one of their apps will ever touch any of my phones for any reason.

    • Hope

      I used a few of their products until one day their keyboard app started firing off push notification ads. Never installing anything from them again. Glad I never entered any login credentials on a third-party keyboard...

    • http://twitter.com/WarDraker Hary Ayala

      Because people need something to hate on, there really is no other reason ^_^

      • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

        i guess you never use any go apps , right

        • http://twitter.com/WarDraker Hary Ayala

          On the contrary i've used GO apps for quite a while now, one of the very firs things i do on my phone right after getting rid of the manufacturer broken android and putting AOSP on them is install Go SMS.

    • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

      and they are from china , you never know when they are going to spying on you !!!

  • http://www.dastardlyreport.com ryaninc

    I used to try every new browser, but I've grown pretty dependent on Chrome's Tab Sync feature. I really like being able to open a page on my desktop, then be able to go straight to it on my phone or tablet. So I'll be sticking with Chrome for a while.

  • Zastr

    The logo reminds me a bit of Telenor. http://www.telenor.com

    • stevethecat

      its a blatant ripoff.

    • http://GPlus.to/Abhisshack Abhisshack

      thats what chinese do, copy others

  • stevethecat

    "Next Browser takes bits and pieces from all the major Android browsers and mishmashes them together."

    That is what the Go Dev team does with everything they put in the app store. All of their products are blatant rip offs of other apps/launchers.This is what happens when you are protected by the thieving chinese government. There should be a boycott on anything that comes out of the thieving country until they stop stealing from and hacking US companies.

    • hldc1

      You hit the nail right on the head. China has invented anything significant since gunpowder, printing, and the compass about 14 gazillion years ago.

      All of GO's stuff rips off other apps. As noted by @Zastr in another comment, the logo is bit too similar to the Telenor logo. I think it also borrows a bit from the WeFi logo. The similarities are too many to deny.

      You guys shouldn't tout the "greatness" of these guys. Xiaomi Tech is another one of these groups that definitely don't deserve any praise. Their MIUI is clearly a blatant ripoff of Apple.

      How about reviewing and promoting apps from developers that actually create and innovate? I'm disappointed AP.

      • patapongirl

        I've tried their launcher and don't like the bloat but I could definitely see why their products appeal to many people.

        Despite being not very innovative, you have to give credits to them for putting out relative polished products. There's nothing wrong with picking up the good points of a few products and combine them into a good or even better product. It's how technology advances. In fact, this is how humankind advances - you improve on the existing stuffs.

      • guest

        As I know, Go Launcher invented the cylinder and sphere screen transitions, and ADW Launcher ripped off that :-p

  • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

    "an Opera-ish Speed Dial page compete with bookmarks and a search bar"

    You're missing an "L" in "complete".

    • Jeremiah Rice

      Fixed, thanks.

  • kamiller42

    Is this another webkit browser or something new?

  • neopanther

    For those who don't like go sms. What do you use? Handcent?

    • MemphisMuffy

      Chomp SMS.

    • Jaymoon

      I'm really digging Textra (from the ChompSMS devs).

    • primalxconvoy

      Yes. I changed to handsent after the custom background function kept failing. I still use go launcher and golocker though.

  • adauth

    Anything from GO Devs is a no from me.

  • spydie

    What a bunch of "go" haters here. Have you guys tried Next Launcher yet? I, too, tried all the go products and found them full of spam and bloat, but Next Launcher is light years ahead of the rest of their products. Before you belittle GO Developers any more, try Next Launcher and you'll change your mind.

    • TornZero

      I did try Nova Launcher for a few hours, but I went back to Nova.

    • Nathan J

      I tried the Next Launcher. I don't know if it was a pirated version or the 36-hour demo. I'm thinking it was the former. It was posted over on Google+ and I thought, okay I'll give it a shot. The company offers a 36 hour demo anyway. If I like it I'll buy it. It didn't last an hour. It's pretty much garbage. (And no, I won't share the link. I deleted the installer, so I haven't got a copy.)

  • Nathan J

    I have yet to see a browser I like as much as the stock browser. Especially when you force it to the 720p layout and turn down the DPI a little. It's just like a miniature, black Chrome. Chrome and Firefox are just too bloated on mobile. But my needs are not great. What I would really like is a browser based heavily on the stock browser, that can do tablet mode without the OS telling it to, and also import bookmarks from either Firefox's or Chrome's output.

  • deadMAN

    The Next Browser is great!! I also don't like the other apps by GO team like GO Launcher, SMS, but this one is nice. You should try it guys! Just close your eyes and install it, it's awesome browser, I love it, and it does support Flash!

  • Zeuszoos

    Personally, I like Next Browser, but I am not a GO fan. And that's because they never respond to emails about problems. And I mean NEVER! Got a problem? Live with it, or switch! Next Browser's biggest problem? It can only import bookmarks from the Android Browser. I mean, at least be able to import HTML bookmark files! Do you know how much work it is transferring bookmarks one by one manually, when you have hundreds of them and sub-folders for them?! It alone can make the decision NOT to switch browsers, no matter how good the other browser is!