There is no shortage of third-party browsers available on Android. While most of us use Chrome, there are plenty of worthy alternatives and valid reasons to choose them. The CyanogenMod team (notably distinct from, but connected to, the Cyanogen Inc. company) is throwing its hat into this crowded ring. The new project is called Gello, it's based on Chromium's open-source code... and that's about all we know for sure at this point.

However, we can glean a few details from a 14-second teaser trailer posted by CM team member Joey Rizzoli. Based on lightning-quick flashes of the interface and settings screens, you can see a lot of features running on the browser's current build. These may or may not make it to a public release for Cyanogen Inc. hardware, CyanogenMod ROMs, and other users. Notably:

  • a "save for offline" reading mode
  • a customized interface, including tab animations and management
  • Night mode and Immersive mode options
  • Extensive site-by-site privacy and security settings, including a possible ad blocker
  • Download settings that allow you to rename files and select file paths

At the moment the CyanogenMod developers are playing coy, though they do suggest that we'll see more information on the Gello browser soon.

Rizzoli has published a new Google+ post and a 5-minute video demonstration of an early version of Gello. Check it out:

In his post Rizzoli answers a few questions. Gello doesn't have an ETA at the moment, but it will be completely open source and others will be welcome to contribute to the project once it goes public. The browser won't be compatible with older and less powerful devices with a small system partition.

He also made a point to refute some of the more cynical responses that came out after Cyanogen Inc. Kirt McMaster made some divisive comments about the company trying to move away from Google:

CyanogenMod Team does not hate Google, this is not a way to steal Google's work (chromium is opensource), nor me (or any other CM team member) wants you remove Chrome from your device. You'll always be free to choose to install your GApps package alongside with CyanogenMod and repace [sic] all the CyanogenMod apps you don't like/use with Google's. Me and all the CM teams uses Google Apps and Services every day. We aren't "putting a bullet into Google's head". We're just creating an operative system (or ROM or Firmware, whatever you call it).

  • Thanks:
  • Mario