Google's Chrome browser is our go-to web tool on Android, but there are plenty of reasons not to like it, like the way the latest version hides the refresh button in a drop-down menu. For those users who aren't happy with the status quo, one of the more refreshing alternatives is Javelin, and independent browser made with a unique interface and Material Design visual elements. The latest update (4.1.3) includes some more advanced bookmarks and syncing features.
The biggest change is the new Javelin Sync, which relies on this Chrome extension to sync bookmarks from your desktop browser into Javelin.
Numerous users have come to us with reports of an option to enable a home button appearing on Chrome's settings page. None of us at Android Police have personally seen this item pop up on our devices, but if it's going out as a limited test, this wouldn't be at all out of the norm. The user who submitted the shots below, taken on an LG G3, says the option doesn't appear on any of his other devices despite having the same (stable) version of Chrome installed.
Once enabled, the option tosses a home button into Chrome's toolbar. It appears to the left of the URL.
It takes a lot for an Android web browser to get our attention. We've got Chrome in all its Googleyness, and we've got Dolphin if you need something more extensible. But the new Atlas browser beta, from NextApp (developers of SystemPanel App), may just warrant your attention. In addition to speedy rendering and surprising responsiveness, Atlas has some advanced features hidden behind a solid user interface. Oh, and did we mention it uses some Material Design cues in its visuals?
From the primary browsing window, you can swipe in from the left edge of the screen to access to a big, finger-friendly tab selector.
There are many browsers available for Android, several of which serving as mobile counterparts to their desktop alternatives. Opera comes to mind here, as does Firefox. The latter browser has received an update to version 31 and received a number of new features in the process. The top item on the ol' changelog is the ability to reorder homescreen panels (or pages, as I think of them). If you happen to view your reading list more often than bookmarks, for example, then you can now re-arrange the two so that your preferred page comes first.
Another useful update is the new ability to manually refresh synced tabs.
Quick, if you're on a desktop browser, open a new tab and head for Google Drive. You might just see a new interface for Google's document and storage service, first announced back at Google I/O. Drive is getting a makeover to make it more like navigating files in a desktop file manager, complete with thumbnail views for all items and keyboard modifiers that let you manage multiple files at once. Here, check out Google's slick intro for the new features.
A new default view that uses a thumbnail grid instead of a list
A combined "new" button for creating new documents
File details available from the home screen
Desktop-style selection tools, including click-and-drag, Ctrl-modifiers, and drag-and-drop
Update Wednesday continues with yet another new apk. This time we're being treated to a regular version bump for Chrome Beta. The changelog isn't as dramatic as we've seen in previous updates to the browser, but it's hard to turn down improvements and bug fixes. The focus seems to be a little more on fine-tuning the experience as we should see smarter suggestions for text entry and improved text rendering on non-mobile optimized web sites. As a friendly bonus, Google's eclectic Doodles are coming back to the new tab page.
The update is still pretty fresh, so it might be a couple of hours until it's available to everybody.
Time keeps marching forward, and Google keeps improving the mobile version of its Chrome browser. Those who want to see the new goodies before everyone else can check out the official Chrome for Android Beta, which updates to version 35 today. The official changelog mentions some interesting additions, including at least one that was there already: support for Chromecast on HTML5 videos.
Videos on your device have gotten better too, with better HTML5 controls and subtitle support (for those clips that include them). Users of recent Samsung phones and tablets will be happy to know that Sammy's unique multi-window mode is now supported by Chrome Beta, which will probably do away with the need for various root tools.
There are a lot of ways to get text from your computer to your Android device, but perhaps none of them are quite so simple as the new Belt.io app and service. Simply install the app on your phone and you can send text and links from the web service after signing up. Naturally Belt.io also offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, so you don't even have to go to the website to use the service.
The browser extensions also tie in with the Android app, sending any selected link or text directly to your Android phone and giving it an optional notification as well.
Good news, Mozilla fanatics: the updates that hit the beta channel of Firefox's Android browser back in November are now ready for prime time. Version 26 was uploaded to the Play Store today, complete with some notable interface changes and a few under-the-hood tweaks as well. The browser is free as always, and it's compatible with Android devices running 2.2 or later.
The biggest user-facing change is to the home screen, which is now tabbed Holo-style. Quick swipes to the right will let you see your most-visited sites, history, bookmarks, and reading list. You can also pin tabs to the homepage, a nice bit of desktop functionality that's made it across the mobile divide.
We know there are more than a few of you out there who are hooked on PushBullet, the pushing, pulling, syncing, file and information multitool extraordinaire. Until now the app was limited to Android, Chrome, and a more generic web interface (if you can call that limited) but today they've released a Firefox extension, for those users who prefer Mozilla's infinitely extensible web browser. Version 1.0 was uploaded this weekend, ready for testing with the greater PushBullet service. It hasn't yet been verified by Mozilla, but we can confirm that it's working great. You can find it here.
For the uninitiated, PushBullet is like a faster, less centralized version of Dropbox.